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rheCreali^eVJoman 




TOWARD PLANETHOOD 



FALL 1989 




Volume 10, No. 1 Fall 1989 



The 
, Creatine 
>cOoman Governors State University, University Park, IL 60466 - 3193 



Published under the auspices of the provosts office, 
© 1989 governors state university and helen hughes 



ISSN 0736 - 4733 



STAFF 

Helen E. Hughes, Editor 
Suzanne Oliver, Art Director 
Barbara Conant, Library Resources 
Cynthia Ogorek, Editorial Assistant 
Priscilla Rockwell, Editorial Consultant 
Lynne Hostetter, Word Processing 
Linda Kuester, Word Processing 



EDITORIAL BOARD 

Glenda Baily-Mershon, Illinois NOW/National Organization for Women, Oak Park, IL 

Donna Bandstra, Healthgroup International, Sherman Oaks, CA 

Margaret Brady, Social Sciences, Horrtewood, IL 

Rev. Ellen Dohner Livingston, Religion, Unitarian Society of Ponoma Valley, CA 

Rita Durrant, League of American Penwomen, Doylestown, PA 

Deborah Garretson, Counseling, Muncie, IN 

Temmie Gilbert, Theatre/ Media, Governors State University 

Linda Grace-Kobas, Journalism, University of Buffalo, N.Y. 

Harriet Gross, Sociology/Women 's Studies, Governors State University 

Helene N. Guttman, Biological Sciences, Bethesda, M.D. 

Bethe Hagens, Anthropology, Governors State University 

Barbara Jenkins, Psychology, Governors State University 

Betye Saar, Fine Arts, Hollywood, CA 

Terri Schwartz, Psychology, Governors State University 

Sara Shumer, Political Theory, Haverford College, PA 

Lynn Thomas Strauss, Women's Studies/Parenting, Oak Park, IL 

Emily Wasiolek, Literature, Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL 



PAGE 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



3 Introduction 

4 What is a Heart For? by Lynn Thomas Strauss 

6 An Empowered Woman of Color: Amy Jacques Garvey by Addie Harris 

10 Poems by Barbara M. Simon 

11 A Black Woman's Bio by Collette Armstead 

12 Sisterhood, fiction by Greta Gaard 

15 Poems by Linda Pessolano 

16 Violated, fiction by Marilyn Coffey 
20 Henrietta Crandall: Painter 

22 Poems by Deborah Garretson 

23 Rebecca Drake addresses the Rally 

24 Michiko Itatani: Contemporary Painter 

26 Poems by Brenda Tao Lee Nesbit, Deborah Garretson, and Barbara M. Simon 

27 Book Review: High Blood Pressure, reviewed by Terri Jewell 

28 Book Review: My Place, reviewed by Mary E. Howes 

31 Book Review: Poppie Nongena, reviewed by Sonya Monroe 

34 Book Review: Daughters of Copper Woman, reviewed by Michele McMaster 

36 Peace Spirits: Planethood by Helen E. Hughes 

38 About Our Friends 

42 Announcements 

44 Editor's Column by Helen E. Hughes 



The Creative Woman is published three times a year by Governors 
State University. We focus on a special topic in each issue, presented 
from a feminist perspective. We celebrate the creative achievements of 
women in many fields and appeal to inquiring minds. We publish 
fiction, poetry, book reviews, articles, photography and original graphics. 





INTROD UCTION 





It seems appropriate that with this issue on the theme of Planethood we move through the Fall 
calendar closer to the season of lights, of celebration, and of the annual reminders of our long- 
ing for Peace on Earth. Peace rests upon justice. Peace requires understanding, especially under- 
standing of the differences that divide us. And peace can come to fruition only within a struc- 
ture of international law and a means to resolve conflicts non-violently. In this issue we address 
these ideas. 

Lynn Thomas Strauss opens this issue with her appeal to us to learn to use our hearts as well as 
our heads as we confront injustices and differences. Marilyn Coffey reminds us of the vulnera- 
bility that women feel in contemporary urban society. Greta Gaard's story, "Sisterhood," asks us 
to consider the limitations placed on our feminist values by a class-ridden society. Addie Harris 
rescues from oblivion Amy Garvey who played a role in African-American history. We offer the 
work of two painters, Michiko Itatani and Henrietta Crandall, new poets, the remarks of a pro- 
choice advocate at the NOW rally in Springfield, and book reviews that examine the lives of 
women of color in Australia, South Africa and the United States. 

Readers are invited to get involved by ordering their own copies of Planethood, by Ferencz and 
Keyes, introduced in the "Peace Spirits" column. (see page 36) 

Does this assemblage of voices help us to learn to "use our hearts?" Have our writers explicated 
the argument that peace can come only with justice, understanding and planetary law? Readers: 
decide. 

HEH 




WHAT IS A HEART FOR? 



Lynn Thomas Strauss 




When, as a child, I was learning new skills or 
making small, first time decisions, I remember 
the suggestion so often made by my parents and 
teachers. They would watch me struggle for a 
while with my shoelaces, over a long division 
problem, or over what outfit to wear to the party. 
They would watch, their impatience growing, 
knowing that I must learn to do it myself, yet 
wanting to be of help... they would finally offer 
the tried and true advice: "Come on... Use your 
head!" 

"Use your head!" I remember this admonishment 
offered again and again, even though I rarely 
understood what the adults meant, or how it 
would help to use my head to tie my shoes or 
prepare for a party. And certainly in the case of 
long division, couldn't they see that I was trying 
like crazy to do just that? 

A friend of mine remembers... the confusion and 
pain of another kind of learning of life. She 
remembers not knowing what to do when she 
saw the "winos" who were asleep in the door- 
ways she passed on her way to high school. She 
remembers wanting to run from her girlfriend's 
mother; being afraid of her, because of her thick 
German accent. And she did not understand 
herself when she walked a full block out of her 
way to avoid seeing the small "hillbilly" children 
playing barefoot among the broken glass and 
garbage in the alley. 

In these learnings parents and teachers offered 
no advice, played no role, no one was looking 
over her shoulder telling her to "use her head." 
She was left alone to figure things out the best 
she could. I wonder why adults didn't help her 
more, didn't explain, or offer suggestions or 
admonitions on how to act or feel about the 
diverse neighborhood in which she grew up. 
We've all faced similar experiences and wished 
for more guidance. 

Adults might have said, "use your heart" in 
much the same way they said "use your head." 
"Use your heart." We may not have understood 



that advice very well either, or we might have 
tried and failed to use our hearts... but perhaps it 
would have helped. Perhaps we would have 
learned to trust our feelings more, to encounter 
people who were different from ourselves rather 
than run away. We might have become more 
caring and giving people with hearts always 
open to the hearts of others. And our lives might 
have been enriched, and the world made a better 
place because of our open hearts. 

Over the years, I did learn to use my head, but 
I'm still a beginner in using my heart. I'm still a 
beginner in learning to live in our diverse world 
and not hide from those who are different from 
myself... not run from those who are in pain or in 
need. 

Many of us have hid and run at times and have 
counted on our heads rather than our hearts to 
get us through the difficult moments. But what is 
a heart for? We, along with other western relig- 
ions and our culture at large, have experienced a 
severing of our hearts from our heads. The head 
has been well used, but the heart has too often 
been ignored, set aside, left bleeding unattended 
causing a nagging, painful throbbing. We have 
all suffered from this unnatural separation of 
parts of ourselves. Our human bodies continue to 
function, though inadequately. And we have 
often literally gasped for air, needing the life 
blood that could only come from the neglected 
heart. And most noticeably our spirit has suf- 
fered. We have indeed been poorer in spirit as a 
result of encountering the world with our heads 
alone. Yet our hearts beat on... stubbornly await- 
ing the time when more and more of us will 
become attuned to its rhythm and its demand. 
And that time is approaching. More and more of 
us are in search of healing and wholeness. We 
want to embrace all of our gifts, all of our 
strengths as humans and all of our weaknesses 
too. We want our head and our heart to be in 
balance. We want to be in harmony with other 
living things. We want to learn to live as whole 
people celebrating our sacred place in the cos- 
mos. 

As we move in this direction, there is a new 
spirit alive and abounding. Many of us are ex- 
ploring our spiritual depths and rediscovering 
the joys of solitude. While claiming our place 
within the interdependent web of existence, we 
deepen our experience of living and nourish our 
spirit, releasing renewed creative energies into 
the world. More and more of us are learning 
what the heart is for. More and more of us 
understand ourselves as religious people, to be 
people who love. We love life as fully and deeply 
as we can. We love ourselves and our many gifts. 



We love others and we try to be open to receiv- 
ing their love. And we are learning to love the 
whole world. To love Mother Earth and all of her 
people. 

We also are learning that loving is the work of 
many lifetimes. That we cannot one by one love 
enough to heal the wounds of the earth. But we 
now remember that we must become a commu- 
nity of lovers. We must cooperate and coalesce 
and interconnect and build shoulder to shoulder 
with others who love. We must love from one 
generation to another and teach the way of 
loving to our children. For the healing needed in 
our world will take many generations. 

We share with others a deep appreciation for the 
beauty and grandeur of the world of which we 
are a part. We share a sense of responsibility for 
our world and a commitment to struggle against 
the injustice and suffering that touches so many 
lives. This struggle grows from a vision of the 
possibilities of life, a hopefulness that creation 
and rebirth are ongoing, that change and healing 
are as much a part of life as suffering and death. 
And we share a trust that we can make a differ- 
ence; that our lives can contribute in some small 
way to the realization of this vision. That in add- 
ing our love to the love of others more and more 
healing can occur. This kind of reaching out and 
connecting to the best energies of other individu- 
als and organizations committed to social change 
and justice for all people happens in many ways. 
When it happens we experience the power of the 
head and the heart working in unison. 

This new holistic energy which is at work today, 
this synthesis of the mind and the heart, has of 
course occurred at other points in history. In 
order to understand something of the power of 
this kind of synthesis, I hope that you will think 
of the places and times in your own lives that 
you have acted in the service of others. Every act 
of service is an act of both the head and the 
heart — for we choose to serve, we make a deci- 
sion and sometimes a commitment to serve. To 
serve from the heart means of course more than 
a decision or a will to serve, it means opening 
our hearts... not just to faceless suffering people 
in a far away land, but to people who may be 
threatening to us simply because they are so 
different from ourselves. Like the sometimes 
scary worlds of our youth, we may be frightened 
and ignorant and without advice... to act from 
the heart is never easy... and to serve others well, 
we must often face our own fears and limita- 
tions. 

Sometimes the motivation to serve comes from 
anger at the injustice at hand. Many of us served 



in the civil rights movement or the anti-war 
movement with the energy of our anger. 

Sometimes the motivation to serve comes from 
the guilt of a liberal who knows that he or she 
has more than their share of earth's resources. 

Sometimes the motivation to serve grows from 
our role as parents or teachers or counselors. 

And sometimes the motivation to serve comes 
because it feels right... grows out of love for our 
fellow human beings and emerges from our own 
strong sense of gratitude for all that we have 
been given. 

There are as many motivations for serving as 
there are people who serve, and considering our 
motivations may be a step in healing our own 
head/heart separation. 

Think about the giving that you do daily in your 
life. Remember the larger causes that you have 
served. Consider your motivations and wonder if 
you are finding enough places to express your 
love for your fellow human beings and your 
gratitude for the blessings of your life. 

The work of healing and wholeness has just 
begun. We can learn what a heart is for and we 
can pass that lesson on to our children. Perhaps 
we can offer more than advice or admonitions, 
perhaps we can offer an example of our own 
lives of service. We can join in a new generation 
of healers. 

Let us be grateful to all those who do the work 
of peace and justice and healing on behalf of us 
all. Long enough have we used only our heads. 
Now that we are beginning to know what a heart 
is for, let us through service to others enrich and 
nourish our own spirit as well. 



Lynn Thomas Strauss was managing editor of The Creative 
Woman from 1978 to 1983. She is now finishing her studies 
for the ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School, 
University of Chicago. 



AN EMPOWERED WOMAN OF 
COLOR: AMY JACQUES GARVEY 

Addie Harris 



The concept of empowerment is hardly new to 
African American women. Slaves ran away from 
their masters, participated in revolt, and as indi- 
viduals used daily acts of subversion in their 
quest for empowerment. Free Black women 
fought for abolition and helped slaves to escape. 

For almost a century, African American women 
have been organized in bodies developing strate- 
gies that showed the way to economic and politi- 
cal power for themselves and their communities. 
After being ignored by the Womens' Rights 
Movement, Black women organized their own 
Club Movement. In 1895, five years after the 
founding of the General Federation of Women's 
Clubs, which consolidated a club movement on 
the concerns of middle class white women, one 
hundred Black women from ten states met in the 
city of Boston, under the leadership of Josephine 
St. Pierre Ruffin, to discuss the creation of a 
national organization of Black women's clubs. 
When the meeting was convened, the Black 
women said that, unlike their white sisters, 
whose organizational policies were racist, their 
movement would be open to all women: 

Our woman's movement is woman's movement 
in that it is led and directed by women for the 
good of women and men, for the benefit of all 
humanity, which is more than any one branch or 
section of it. We want, we ask the active interest 
of our men, and, too, we are not drawing the 
color line; we are women, American women, as 
intensely interested in all that pertains to us as 
such as all other American women; we are not 
alienating or withdrawing, we are only coming 
to the front, willing to join any others in the 
same work and cordially inviting and welcom- 
ing any others to join us. 1 

Fannie B. Williams, in a book titled A New Negro 
for a New Century, wrote of the differences be- 
tween the two groups: 

The club movement among colored women 
reaches into the sub-social condition of the 
entire race. Among white women clubs mean 
the forward movement of the best women in the 
interests of the best womanhood. Among 
colored women the club is the effort of the few 
competent in behalf of the many incompetent; 
that is to say that the club is only one of the 
means for the social uplift of a race. Among 
white women the club is the onward movement 
of the already uplifted. . . 




Amy Jacques Garvey 

While the National Federation of Women's 
Clubs has served as a guide and inspiration to 
colored women, the club movement among 
[black] people is something deeper than a mere 
imitation of white women. It is nothing less 
than the organized anxiety of women who have 
become intelligent enough to initiate the forces 
of reform. 2 

The motto chosen by the Association was "Lift- 
ing As We Climb". 

Empowerment is currently a fashionable term, 
particularly as it refers to individual self-asser- 
tion, upward mobility, or the psychological expe- 
rience of "feeling powerful." 3 

One such empowered individual was a woman 
of color, Amy Jacques Garvey (1896-1973). She 
was born in Jamaica. In one of her last inter- 
views, she said that the biggest influence in her 
life was her father. He was well educated; 
therefore, he wanted her to have a good educa- 
tion. He subscribed to international magazines, 
journals, and newspapers. After she learned 
how to read, on Sundays he would give her a 
dictionary and insist that she read properly, with 
the proper emphasis on words. He also taught 
her how certain things affected them and how 
they affected the world. She felt that she was 
well trained as a child, with a broad outlook on 
life that served her well later on in life. 4 



Amy's far-reaching mind led her to seek addi- 
tional education in the United States and it was 
there, just after World War I, that she had her 
first contact with Marcus Garvey. Although at 
that time she had no personal motivation to join 
the "Black Struggle," she did go, at the urging 
of a friend, to hear Garvey speak. She was 
impressed by his dedication, honesty and 
leadership ability and when introduced to him 
she offered both praise and criticism. Garvey 
listened and he invited her to the headquarters 
of his newly formed Universal Negro Improve- 
ment Association (UNIA) so that he could 
explain the background of the movement. 
Amy's cool all-business mind and organizational 
ability soon became apparent to Garvey and he 
enlisted her to organize UNIA books and set up 
a badly needed system of operation. Later she 
became his private secretary. 5 

The UNIA was founded by Marcus Garvey in 
Kingston, Jamaica on July 20, 1914. It was con- 
ceived as a benevolent or fraternal reform asso- 
ciation dedicated to racial uplift and the estab- 
lishment of educational and industrial opportuni- 
ties for Blacks. Garvey had heard of Booker T. 
Washington and how he dedicated himself to 
teaching his people after they were freed from 
slavery. He wrote to Washington and told him 
how much he admired him and his work and 
asked if he could come to see how he ran his 
school and if it was possible to help him establish 
a similar school. 

Encouraged by Booker T. Washington, Garvey 
had come to America hoping to gather support 
for a proposed school, to be built in Jamaica, 
patterned on the model of the famed Tuskegee 
Institute. By the time Garvey could get to the 
United States, however, Washington was dead. 
Garvey started with a nucleus of thirteen in a 
dingy Harlem lodge room. Within a few short 
years, he was catapulted to the front rank of 
black leadership, at the head of a social move- 
ment unprecedented in black history for its sheer 
size and scope. 6 

Amy Jacques and Marcus Garvey were married 
in July, 1922. This was Garvey's second wife. 
His first wife was also named Amy, Amy Ash- 
wood (1897-1969). 

Garvey was drawn to strong women who could 
help him. Amy Jacques, also from Jamaica, was 
also very attractive and proved equally useful. 
Their marriage lasted until Garvey's death be- 
cause Amy Jacques chose to invest her strength 
and talents in her husband's career. She defined 
her role as Garvey's comforter and surrogate, 
whereas Amy Ashwood had viewed herself 
more as an equal. According to Ashwood, she 
left Garvey in the summer of 1921, after a period 
of separation, when she discovered Garvey and 
Amy Jacques living together. Amy Jacques said 



that her romance with Garvey began after he 
had made the decision to divorce Amy Ash- 
wood. Jacques explained that Garvey would 
have preferred an American wife, to "please the 
people." He turned to Jacques because she 
could be "a stand-in in an emergency." Al- 
though Jacques' story strains credulity some- 
what, the qualities she claimed Garvey was 
seeking were certainly ones she displayed as his 
wife. She played an active role in all the fac- 
tional fights and was Garvey's surrogate when 
he was away from New York, when he was in 
prison, and later after his death. 7 

Amy Jacques Garvey also said that Garvey did 
not marry her for love. He needed someone 
whom he could trust because the lives and 
opportunities of all those people would be in her 
hands if he was imprisoned or assassinated. He 
wanted to know there would be someone who 
would carry the message when he was gone; 
someone who could not be bought at any price. 

Amy Jacques Garvey, unlike Amy Ashwood, 
never held an office in the UNIA. Her impor- 
tance was second only to Marcus Garvey. Her 
varying activities included the following: she 
was the secretary of the Negro Factories Corpora- 
tion; she also edited "Our Women and What 
They Think." On this Woman's Page, the editori- 
als, articles, interviews and letters to the editor 
had themes of dedication to social justice and 
nationalism. There were other themes such as 
the third world, national liberation struggles, 
feminist struggles, modernization and the contri- 
bution of Black women to the Black Movement. 
Her Women's Page was a fierce dedication to the 
Black movement and particularly the relation of 
Black women to the Black Movement. She wrote 
this about the uniqueness of her Women's Page: 

Usually a Women's Page is any journal devoted 
solely to dress, home hints and love topics but 
our Page is unique in that it seeks to give out the 
thoughts of our women on all subjects affecting 
them in particular and others in general. This 
pleases the modern Negro woman, who believes 
that God Almighty has not limited her intellect 
because of her sex... 

By your contributions you will be showing the 
world the worth and ability of Negro women, 
and gain the appreciation of our own men 
whose lives are guided by our influence and 
who get inspiration from us. 8 

Discussion of Black women took place on two 
levels: 1) Black women were discussed in rela- 
tion to the family and the survival of Black folk; 
2) Black women were discussed in relation to 
Black leadership and the overall Movement to 
restructure society. 



"Our Women and What They Think" carried 
international news about the status of women, 
poetry and profiles of leading Black women. 
Black female historical figures, such as Harriet 
Tubman and Sojourner Truth, were portrayed as 
models of the high ideals of Black womanhood. 

There was a lot of discussion during that time of 
the "New Negro," and "New Negro Woman- 
hood". The essence of the "New Negro Woman" 
was to: 

1) work on a par with men in the office and 
platform; 2) practice thrift and economy; 3) teach 
constructive race doctrine to children; 4) demand 
absolute respect from all men; 5) teach the 
young to love their race first. In sum, the "New 
Negro Woman" revolutionized the old type of 
male leadership. 9 

There was a sentiment expressed in the UNIA 
that women were to play, at most, a supporting 
role to that of the men. Often women members 
of the UNIA objected to these sentiments. Amy 
Jacques Garvey showed her dissatisfaction with 
the men of the UNIA by writing the following: 

If the United States Senate and Congress can 
open their doors to white women, we serve 
notice on our men that Negro women will 
demand equal opportunity to fill any position in 
the Universal Negro Improvement Association 
or anywhere else without discrimination because 
of sex. We are very sorry if it hurts your old- 
fashioned tyrannical feelings, and we not only 
make the demand, but we intend to enforce it. 10 

There were also columns by and about members 
of the women's auxiliaries. 

Mrs. Garvey emerged as a major propagandist 
for Garvey during the period of his trial, convic- 
tion, and imprisonment on mail fraud charges 
(1923-1927). In an effort to improve Garvey's 
reputation and raise funds to pay for his de- 
fense, she published two volumes of his 
speeches and writings as Philosophy and 
Opinions. She acted as his personal representa- 
tive while he was in prison, traveling to speak at 
local UNIA divisions throughout the country, 
meeting with public officials and UNIA officers 
to carry out his directions, and organizing UNIA 
conferences and affairs. 11 

Amy Jacques Garvey posted a fifteen-thousand 
dollar bail to free her husband. In a speech to 
five-thousand cheering men, women, and chil- 
dren at Liberty Hall in New York, Garvey 
thanked his wife, whom he said had worked for 
him against the advice of those who said that 
they would stand by him, but did not. 

She and Garvey toured England, France, and 
Germany in the spring and summer of 1928. At 
the Century Theatre in London, she shared the 



platform with her husband and made a moving 
plea for tolerance and sympathetic understand- 
ing from the White world. "Our appeal as Black 
people is for you to learn more about us as a 
race. We are not asking charity of you, because 
we believe in self help; we believe that as a race 
of people struggling onward and upward, we 
must of ourselves lift ourselves up; and all we 
ask you is that you treat us kindly and decently." 
While traveling she wrote articles for the Negro 
world about her impressions. 

She gave birth to Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., 
and Julius Winston Garvey in 1930 and 1933. 
She stayed behind in Jamaica when Garvey 
moved to England in 1934; she took the children 
to join him there in 1937, but because of the 
failing health of Marcus Garvey, Jr., she re- 
turned to Jamaica while Garvey was away at the 
1938 convention in Canada. After Garvey's 
death in 1940, Jacques became a contributing 
editor to a black nationalist journal, The African, 
published in Harlem in the 1940's, and estab- 
lished the African Study Circle of the World in 
Jamaica in the late 1940's. She published Garvey 
and Garveyism in 1963. 13 

In 1960 Lerone Bennett interviewed the two Mrs. 
Garvey's. 

Among many people who feel recent events 
vindicate the little giant are the two women 
named Amy. Garvey's widow, Amy Jacques, 
and his first wife, Amy Ashwood, contend that 
he was a prophetic figure who lived 40 years 
before his time. Garvey, they say, did two 
vitally important things: 1) he went to the heart 
of the race problem by ripping away the shame 
and inferiority that were stunting the growth of 
the black men; 2) he focused attention on Africa 
when black nationalism was dormant. 14 

This is what the two women had to say about the 
Back to Africa Movement. 

Amy Ashwood says flatly that back-to- African- 
ism, which most laymen consider a central tenet 
of Garveyism, is outmoded. She says: "I don't 
believe the back-to- Africa movement would be 
valid for American Negroes today. I rather 
think that the Booker T. Washington philosophy 
of drop-your-bucket-where-you-are should 
permeate American Negroes. After Marcus 
Garvey had returned millions to Africa spiritu- 
ally, he had done his work. It was finished in 
the real sense". 15 

Amy Jacques says: 

It is a sensational misunderstanding of Garvey 
to imply that he advocated back-to- Africanism. 
"People misunderstood him. As a matter of 
fact, the term, "Back-to- Africa, " was used and 
promoted by newspapers, Negro newspapers 



mostly, to ridicule Garvey. There was no Back- 
to-Africa movement except in a spiritual sense. 

But migration was planned to Liberia because 
concessions were given there. The idea was to 
take only enough to establish a township as an 
example and pattern for Africans. He never 
advocated mass migration. The idea is ridicu- 
lous." 16 

Empowering is also knowing that you are worth- 
while and can make significant contributions and 
having others realize the same. 

Amy Jacques Garvey was one of the most re- 
markable and empowered women in history. 
Her contribution to the Negro world was signifi- 
cant. But, more importantly, her thoughts and 
activities illuminated the intelligence and com- 
plexity of Black women in the Garvey Move- 
ment. 



FOOTNOTES 

Angela Davis, "Radical Perspectives on the Empowerment of 
Afro-American Women: Lessons for the 1980V' (Harvard 
Educational Review, 58 August, 1988), 348. 

Mark D. Matthews, "Our Women and What They Think, Amy 
Jacques Garvey and the Negro World" (Black Scholar, 10 May/ 
June, 1979), 8. 

Ann Bookman and Sandra Morgen, eds., Women and the 
Politics of Empowerment (Philadelphia: Temple University 
Press, 1984), 4. 



Ida Lewis, "Mrs. Marcus Garvey Talks with Ida Lewis" 
(Encore, May, 1973), 68. 

Beverly Reed, "Black, Beautiful and Free" (Ebony, 26 June, 
1971), 48. 

Robert A. Hill, ed., Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons (Los 
Angeles: University of California Press, 1987). 

Judith Stein, The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in 
Modern Society (Louisiana: Louisiana State University 
Press,1986), 151. 

Mark D. Matthews, "Our Women and What They Think, Amy 
Jacques Garvey and the Negro World" (Black Scholar, 10 May/ 
June, 1979), 5. 

Ibid., 11. 

Ibid. 

Robert A. Hill, ed., Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons (Los 
Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), 1%. 

Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Negro 
Universal Improvement Association (Wisconsin: Wisconsin Press, 
1969), 149. 

Robert A. Hill, ed., Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons (Los 
Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), 196. 

Lerone Bennett, Jr., "The Ghost of Marcus Garvey: Interviews 
with Crusader's Two Wives" (Ebony, March, 1960), 53-61. 

Ibid. 
Ibid. 



Addie Harris is a retired reference librarian and subject 
specialist. She is one of the founders of Harsh Researchers 
of Chicago History and holds office in the State Universities 
Annuitants Association. 



Internationalism does not mean the end of individual 
nations. Orchestras don't mean the end of violins. 

Golda Meir 
Prime Minister of Israel 



w # 



/# 



PROMISES: FOR MAGGIE 



Within the week our world turned full 

green and robins rose, 

a swirl of votive flares 

from the sacristy of my newly planted garden 

Incense heavy lilac and lily 

drifted in breezes 

mild as communion veils. 

In the late afternoon benediction of light, 

I studied the confession of shadows playing 

over the rough pink patio bricks, 

as I waited 

for my child. Twelve 

years ago, her every breath 

moved me. Her heart beat 

the measure of sparrows' songs; 

she turned with the flutter of 

petals falling from my apple tree. 

She's unfolded, climbed the 

trellis of my love until 

today, the rose is on her vine 

for her to accept the promises 

of her nature as I trust 

the dogwood's burning ember bud 

will flower; as I believe 

the bloodied peony nub 

will burst to bridal tulle. 



Barbara M. Simon 



EARLY LAST SPRING 

This is the green and waiting time — 

time to fall back into the paisley 

wings of the overstuffed chair, hours 

to cradle in the earthy warmth of your gaze 

the child and husband you'll leave; 

minutes to trace the bloodied ribbon 

of memory through bandages wrapping 

your chest like a lover's arms 

back to the cold white room, the 

machines and the order, a diagnosis 

given casually as a recipe: 

And it all meant nothing. So, 

now you rest in the fragile eggshell light 

your bones burning like stars 

through the milky shield 

of your skin. Exhausted, 

breath dragging like the end of winter, 

you begin to gather yourself, 

accept the rasping caress, 

smile as if this weren't goodbye, 

while through it all, inside 

your cancer spreads its wings 

and crows and crows. 



Barbara M. Simon 



A BLACK WOMAN'S BIO 



There is one basic philosophical premise that I 
can be sure of today and reasonably sure of to- 
morrow: Everything is political. 

Name: Collette Armstead 

My father named me after a white woman that 
he fantasized about when he was in the Air 
Force (1953) in Greenland. The possibility of 
changing the name has flickered in and out of 
my consciousness over the years. When I rumi- 
nate over the process, I get very tired. I harbor a 
deep-seated anger against my mother for letting 
my father name me. The irony of it is that 
maybe, when my mother thought about him 
calling me Collette, the same kind of tired feeling 
came over her. (Everything is political, even the 
personal.) 

Address: 4602 North Monticello, Apt. 3W, 
Chicago, IL 60625 

After 26 years of living on Chicago's Southside, I 
am now living on the Northwest side of the city. 
If you have grown up on the Southside of Chi- 
cago you would realize the consequence of the 
following statement. (Everything is political, 
where you live says something about you.) I live 
on the Northwest side because: 1) It is close to 
where I go to school. 2) I thrive in a multi- 
cultural environment. 3) I have the good fortune 
to love a man who told me to lie about my being 
on welfare. 



Publication Credits: Pamoja, Cumbaya, Urban 
Focus, The Chicago Observer, The Hampton-Clark 
News, Apocalypse. 

The major white (male) publications won't 
publish you if you're too black, too female or too 
poor (so I hear). The white (female) publications 
are intent on co-opting or have become just as 
entrenched as the white (male) publications. The 
black (male) publications cry that they're over- 
whelmed by manuscripts and they "ain't ac- 
ceptin' no feminist bullshit." The black (female) 
publications, well you have to know someone. 
None of ya'll pay! (Everything is political. The 
idea that freedom of press exists in America is an 
absurd notion to me. I have heard too many 
writers willing and capable of making contribu- 
tions who are rarely published and never read.) 

My Work: 

I write about yellow roses, black swans, great 
gray lakes, and the possibility of having to eat 
dandelions to survive. I write about the beach in 
the summer, the block in the spring, and an 
elderly woman who huddles alone around her 
stove in winter. I write about being a woman a 
lot. I write about being black just as much. I 
rarely write about being poor. I haven't learned 
to surmount that "ism" yet. (Everything is 
political. I define my work as political/art. My 
landscape is not limited merely specific. If I can 
bring you into my world for the time of the 
poem, I have succeeded.) 



Age: I told you that. 

Education: Northeastern Illinois University, 
Sophomore, Major: English, 

Minor: Secondary Education 

I'm kinda old to just be a sophomore in college, 
but some come to it late and some never come to 
it at all. My major is English because I have an 
obsession with recording my life, the lives 
around me, the lives I invent and the lives that 
come to me in pieces in my dreams. I also 
majored in English because a couple of people 
told me that I can write. I figured, go with what 
you know. I minored in Secondary Education 
because my mother shook her head (negatively) 
when I hinted at minoring in Inner City Studies. 
I decided Secondary Education as a concession to 
her advanced age as well as my own. (Every- 
thing is political, and everybody has to eat.) 



In Love and Struggle, 

Collette Armstead 



n 



SISTERHOOD 



Greta Gaard 



This high-ceilirtged room shelters a cherry-wood 
four poster bed, a bureau covered with lace and 
photographs, a wing-backed chair, several large 
houseplants, a full-length antique mirror. 
Nestled snugly beneath layers of quilts and 
electric blankets, a woman lazily shifts positions, 
somewhat disturbing the two cats who seem to 
bob on a sea of bedcoverings. Outside, the 
January winds — known in Minnesota as the 
"arctic cold front" — howl powerlessly past the 
window of this sleeping woman. 

Two miles away, the arctic winds force entry 
through the cracks around the windows, the 
space beneath the door of an upstairs apart- 
ment. This two -room dwelling could fit inside the 
bedroom of the other sleeper. Here, on a couch 
in the front room, an older woman tosses rest- 
lessly beneath two overcoats, while in the back 
room, a young woman futilely attempts to quiet 
a sobbing infant. 

At 9:30 that morning, Renee flings back the 
covers of the four poster, pulls on a thick blue- 
and-green bathrobe, and shuffles in matching 
slippers towards the kitchen. Soon the aroma of 
French roast coffee wafts invitingly through the 
condo. Studying her datebook, Renee plans the 
day: tan, 10:30-11:00; prepare for class, 11:00- 
1:00; teach, 1:00-5:00; work out, 5:00-6:30. She 
sees there is a discussion on ageism that evening 
at the feminist bookstore, and decides to attend. 
Perhaps Mari would like to go too, she reflects, 
reaching for the touch-tone telephone. 

After the door closes behind her mother, Denise 
looks around the apartment with relief. Her 
mother won't return from the bar until early 
evening, which gives Denise time to straighten 
up the apartment before going to her waitressing 
job. A noise from the back room: it is the baby, 
pounding Denise's worn shoe against the lino- 
leum. Realizing she must choose between the 
noise of shoe-pounding or the child's sobbing, 
Denise turns to the hotplate and reaches for a 
rag to clean up the spilled milk. 

Driving to the tanning salon, Renee mentally re- 
views her introductory lecture for the business 
writing course that afternoon. Should she pres- 
ent varying approaches to memo writing in this 
session, or save it for next week? Absent- 
mindedly, Renee parks the silver Saab across 



from the salon and dashes out of the car, nearly 
forgetting to lock the door. In her haste, Renee 
does not notice when her wallet slides out of her 
coat pocket, nor does she look back to see it lying 
in the snow. 

At last, the baby falls asleep, and Denise begins 
to dress for work, changing from the grey 
sweatpants and pullover she has slept in to an 
orange and brown uniform. Searching through a 
cardboard box, Denise selects a pair of panty- 
hose with snags but no holes. There is a knock 
at the door. Quickly closing the door to the back 
room to prevent the baby from waking, she 
glances at the clock — too early for work. Stalling 
for time, Denise slips noiselessly into the bath- 
room to check her appearance in the mirror. 
There's only one person it could be. Sighing, she 
replaces the brush on the basin, her hair only 
partially untangled. To more impatient knocking, 
Denise opens the door. A tall man in a leather 
jacket enters the apartment, closing the door 
behind him. He asks softly, "Want to make some 
money?" 

Renee adjusts the towel wrapped around her 
damp hair and begins stacking papers. It is noon; 
class begins at 1:15. She will have just enough 
time to style her hair, drive to class, and chat 
with the new students before the session begins. 
After packing her briefcase with the papers 
neatly paperclipped together, Renee searches one 
coat pocket, then the other. Puzzled, she goes to 
the living room and checks her other briefcase, 
then the cracks between the couch cushions. 
Nothing. Renee calls the tanning salon and 
speaks with the beach beauty at the front desk, 
who cheerfully replies, "Nope. Sorry." Grabbing 
her coat and keys, Renee decides to retrace her 
steps, and leaves the condo with the towel still 
wrapped around her damp curls. 

In Denise's apartment, the man unzips his 
leather jacket and tosses a blue wallet onto the 
couch. He paces back and forth in the tiny 
space, and the argument begins. The cash is 
hers now, Lenny says, opening the wallet and 
placing two $20 bills beside it on the couch. 
Denise glances hungrily at the money, then turns 
away. Using credit cards is too risky, she objects. 
He counters, reasons, and finally threatens. Den- 
ise picks up the wallet and glances through it. 
Visa, Dayton's, Mobile, American Express; mem-, 
bership cards for organizations she's never heard 
of— Friends of Animals, Young Socialists, Min- 
nesota Distance Runners' Association, National 
Women's Studies Association. Staring at the 
picture on the driver's license. Denise begins to 
wonder about this other woman. 



12 




Ruth Aizuss Migdal, Untitled #2, pastel and pencil on Arches 140 Lb. cold pressed water color paper, 30" x 22". 



In the back of the wallet, she finds a tattered 
black-and-white family photo: father, mother, 
and daughter sit on a velvet sofa before a wall 
of paintings. With one hand, the little girl stead- 
ies a dachshund on her lap, holding up four 
fingers of the other hand and grinning to reveal 
the new gap between her teeth. 



Gently, Lenny takes the wallet from Denise. He 
senses her indecision; he knows her need. "If 
you'll help us, I'll mail the wallet back today, " he 
coaxes, stroking her cheek. In the back room, 
the baby wakes and begins to cry. When Den- 
ise leaves to feed the baby, Lenny smiles to 



13 



himself and replaces the wallet in his jacket. 

At 12:30, Renee is dressed and on the telephone. 
She has moved from disbelief to action, and has 
contacted the police and her credit card hotline. 
In two minutes, the massive computer network 
of her credit bureau has solved the problem. 
The only cost to Renee is the $83-odd dollars in 
cash, the lost memorabilia, and the inconven- 
ience. With relief, Renee replaces the telephone 
in its cradle and, checking her Rolex, sees she 
can still get to class on time. 

A long '67 Cadillac pulls up in front of Denise's 
apartment building, and Lenny helps Denise into 
the back seat. He confers with the two other 
men in the front seat, and a mall is chosen. As 
the car slides into gear, Denise stares blankly 
out the window at the dirty snow, and shivers. 

On the break, Renee shares coffee with some of 
her new students, and tells about her morning. 
"I strongly oppose the unequal distribution of 
wealth under capitalism," she concludes, "and I 
see the loss of this $80 as the system's way of 
equalizing distribution." Her students are 
amazed — how can Renee be so calm? 

In the electronics section of a large department 
store, a double row of T. V. screens repeats the 
image of a young woman surrounded by ador- 
ing men in tuxedos. Opening her fur coat, the 
woman places her hands on her hips and 
smiles alluringly. The frame freezes on the cap- 
tion, "Maidenform." Lenny takes Denise's elbow 
firmly and steers her toward a salesman. 
"You're beautiful, baby," he murmurs. 

Driving to the health club, Renee hums to 
herself and reflects on another class well done. 
Considering the circumstances, she tells herself, I 
am an incredibly good teacher. If I could only 
lose those 5 lbs. in my hips, she ponders, I could 
cut down my running time on the track. Today, 
Renee decides to ride the Lifecycle to reduce the 
stress of the morning, and to burn those extra 
calories. 

As the salesman punches in the credit card num- 
ber, Denise looks around nervously. Lenny has 
gone outside to get his friends and to bring the 
car around to the nearest exit. Facing the sales- 
man, the print on the computer screen registers 
"Code 45 — Photo I.D. Required." The salesman 
stares: this is his first theft case. Recalling his 
training manual procedures, he presses the 
button which alerts the in-store detective and the 
police, and turns a smiling face towards Denise. 
"it will be just a moment," he says apologetically. 

14 



"It's these new computers. " 

Clad in her shimmering exercise leotards, Renee 
pedals at level 6 on the Lifecycle and reads an 
article for her Women's Studies course: "Prob- 
lems of Race and Class for White Feminists." She 
highlights the important passages with a green 
marker. It is 5:20. Renee decides to ride for an 
hour, and programs the machine accordingly. 

At 5:23, Denise is arrested for forgery. The in- 
house detective holds her until the police arrive 
and take her, limp and unresisting, towards the 
waiting squad car. Outside, she sees Lenny 
before he sees her, and hesitating only a mo- 
ment, she points him out to the police. After a 
brief chase, he is captured. In the commotion, 
neither the policemen nor Denise notice the 67 
Cadillac which pulls silently out of the parking lot, 
blending easily into the evening traffic. 

Ageism works both ways, one woman argues. 
Approximately 35 women are seated in a large 
circle at the feminist bookstore. In the center of 
the circle, six candles are arranged in a hexagon, 
with two tape recorders on either side. This 
evening's talk is led by two women who have 
experienced ageist discrimination: one woman is 
57, the other is 17. Renee listens thoughtfully to 
the discussion, occasionally checking on her tape 
recorder. She resolves to be more aware of age- 
ism in herself and in others. Ageism is just as 
oppressive as racism or classism, she says to the 
group, and develops her analogy knowledgeably. 

At the police station, Denise is booked on a 
felony for fraud and forgery. She places her 
single phone call to the bar, where she knows 
her mother will have returned with the baby. 
When at last the cell doors close behind her, 
Denise will lie down on the cot and, pulling her 
knees tightly against her chest, stare out into the 
darkness. 

Renee returns to her condo at 1 1 :30 that night 
and plays back the messages on her answering 
machine. Horrified, she listens to the voice of 
Officer Peterson requiring her to contact him 
immediately. Through the police's switchboard 
operator, Renee is connected with Peterson's 
patrol car. 

"We got 'em, " Peterson assures her, unravelling 
the story of the arrest. Renee is stunned. She 
listens to the entire story, thanks the officer, and 
hangs up the phone. 

"Denise Castillo," Renee says aloud, to no one, 
"Denise." Slowly, her eyes fill with tears. "28 
years old. . .same age as me." 

Continued on page 41 . 



RUNAWAY DAUGHTER 



Clutching the change in my overalls pocket 

I enter the sidewalk's maple alley; 

seedwings whirl down from the lime haze, 

trampled flowers stain the concrete. 

Dizzy with liberty, I can almost float away 

but shadows nuzzle me. 

I begin to notice house after house, 

their steps jutting out like folded arms, 

guarding histories. 

My dentist's office broods under green awnings. 

Further on, a baby cries: 

I fill in my mother's face, 

going from window to window, needing me. 

Where is life, I wonder, 

hurrying past dusty yards 

to where the sidewalk ends at the railroad tracks. 

I stop to study them 

like a scar I didn't know I had. 

The hot cinderbed warps the air, 

drawing me toward the intersections, 

onto the silver rail, 

where I watch myself walk deeper 

and deeper into the moving train. 



Linda Pessolano 



EVERGREEN STREET 
for Nuri 



I wait in the car for my lover, 

soon half a world away. 

All there is of sky is an arcade of yellow leaves 

lit from beneath by streetlights, 

yet I feel the stars I pitied as a child, 

their loneliness, how they can't 

call to one another, and need something human 

to fill their alien spaces. 

In the distance, a trolley car wails in its track 
and dies, suddenly. Life resonates with grief, 
the only song I know. 

An old man walks by me under the streetlights, 
smoke from his cigarette hanging in the air 
behind him. How full I am, 
watching him in the rear-view mirror 
turn the corner from Evergreen into Day. 

Linda Pessolano 




"Modern Style", bust, 1949, Picasso 



15 



VIOLATED 

Marilyn Coffey 



Her legs ached. She stood — dead center — on the 

subway platform, positioning herself as far as 
possible from the tracks, but even that wasn't 
safe enough. Her oversized art portfolio made 
her vulnerable: her right arm was immobile. So 
was her left, awkwardly embracing a large 
cardboard box containing her design project, 
geodesic forms. How could she karate chop 
anyone weighed down like this? Not that she 
knew how. Carin scanned the platform, dug her 
heels in until her calves clenched like stubborn 
fists — and ached. 

Where had it happened? Nothing marked it — no 
roped area, no blood stains. She hadn't noticed 
that Friday. Then she could only think: here, it 
happened here, right here, in this very station. 
But Friday she hadn't waited: the local and the 
express tore into the station simultaneously, and 
Carin had bolted across the platform like every- 
one else. No time to consider, really. But now. 
No sign bothered her. A mark might render it 
real, somehow, not just another tale of meaning- 
less violence. 

Starting, Carin turned. Sure enough, right behind 
her, a man! Not close. Middle-aged, heavy-set, 
tweed overcoat. Chocolate brown from hat to 
shoes. Standing. Newspaper rolled under one 
arm. Flat-footedly shifting his bulk from leg to 
leg. Not even looking — but what did that prove? 
Isn't the grandpa on the elevator the one to grab 
a handful? Or the guy in Madison Avenue gray 
the one to make obscene cracks? Carin waited. 
When the brown man didn't move, she walked 
to the staircase, turned, and pushed back against 
the tile wall. 

"A woman, did you hear? Pushed, yes, right in 
front of the train. How awful." Voices from the 
Student Union still seemed to echo, still stole her 
breath. She couldn't absorb it. Finally, she'd 
asked, "Was she hurt?" Silence until someone 
said, matter-of-factly, "Killed." 

What a relief! To perish is simple beside being 
maimed. Death is so beautifully conclusive, not 
like mutilation or defonnity, hanging on to twist 
a whole life out of shape. Carin's relief shamed 
her, but she knew its truth: if she were a soldier, 
death would frighten her less than the wound. 

But how to encompass such a senseless killing? 
How often she'd feared it herself, mocking her 



irrationality but backing into the safety of the 
middle of the platform, overcome by unfounded 
but enormous fears that she'd be standing, here, 
on the yellow line that marks the platform's 
edge, waiting, watching a train arrive (was it 
here? down further? on the uptown side?), as 
she'd done dozens of times, the train coming, 
and someone, yes, a man, suddenly, behind her 
(no, he didn't know the woman, he said, he'd 
never seen her before), coming up behind, and 
just as the train barreled in, pushing. Maybe 
right here. Knowing it had really happened 
made her fantasies worse. She jammed her back 
firmly against the tiles. 

Carin didn't move when the train came in. She 
knew what the local looked like: rust-cankered 
old train rocking down the track like a 1930's 
World's Fair ride, too dirty to have discernible 
color, metal knobby as a toad's skin from riveted 
bolts, white GG letters glaring, unblinking eyes 
in a dark tunnel. And jutting from the front car, 
like a huge, slightly deformed claw, an ugly 
metal contraption. To connect the cars. She 
shuddered. Had it struck the woman? Her legs? 
The middle of her back? Did she fall face first, 
into that putrid black stream between the rails: 
standing water, litter, a fetid swamp that out- 
lasted every cleaning effort, caravans of work- 
men glowing in orange safety jackets, swinging 
bright red lanterns which only accentuated the 
foul darkness, and the next day, the swamp look- 
ing the same. Muck triumphing. No one could 
stop the putrid black muck from seeping in be- 
tween silver tracks, maybe the last thing she saw, 
falling, a flushed red cheek striking that dank 
cold goo. 

The train slid by the edge of Carin's vision and 
shuddered to a stop before she moved — bolting 
into the nearest car, pulling her paraphernalia 
behind her, quickly, so closing doors wouldn't 
bisect her portfolio. Quickly, even though she'd 
vowed never to run to catch a train, not since the 
time she had and the doors closed too soon — on 
her arm. She'd slipped, fallen, her arm sliding 
down the doors' rubber lips, looking to passen- 
gers like an unexpectedly amputated limb de- 
scending solitarily to the floor. Before her, a few 
feet, hard white tiles of the station wall towered. 
She knew she'd be dragged there and mangled, 
like the man in the Daily News, his body half in, 
half out, his wife watching helplessly from 
behind closed doors, the man's body spread- 
eagled and splattered on the tiles as the train 
pulled out — but miraculously, her doors had 
opened and remained open while she shakily 
picked herself up off the cement and stepped 
inside, not even maimed. Only bruised. Her 



16 




'■• 




Ruth Aizuss Migdal, Untitled #1, pastel on Arches 300 Lb. cold 
pressed water color paper, 40" x 26". 



hand, hitting the cement, scraped raw. 

When the GG doors slid shut, Carin leaned on 
them, noting an over-head fan, now still, and a 
long line of light bulbs, each screwed nakedly 
into its socket. Jerked forward as the doors 
opened and shut, ("Watch the closing doors.") 
Listened to the train pulling out, the wheels 
grinding. Saw the woman, falling, again in her 
mind's eye. Tried not to imagine what falling 
would feel like. Tried to pull her legs around so 
those wheels, like a can opener's round blade, 
wouldn't slice her.. .but she failed. 

Beside her, a red-faced bovine man, body burst- 
ing from a plaid lumber jacket and too-tight 
wine-colored pants, seemed to press his heavy 
arm against her thigh, so she picked her way 
down the aisle. Excuse me, excuse me, her port- 
folio banging people's legs. She found an open 



space in a semi-circle of seated passengers — a 
school kid, couple of secretaries, an old black 
lady. Nobody to bother her. She balanced her 
portfolio against her leg, slipped her free hand 
over the cool metal strap. A sanctuary, this space. 
While it lasts. 

At least riding subways wasn't as bad as last 
September, when she'd first moved here and 
didn't know what to do when strange men 
pushed up against her, when her bra strap gave 
way in rush-hour, when she was followed — but 
she'd dodged him, weaving in and out of five 
o'clock traffic. Moving here had been a shock. 
New York was the antithesis of her home: no 
stasis in this city. Buildings flung up, torn down, 
banks bombed, landmarks gone, people moving. 
Nothing stood still. Sometimes she longed for no 
movement, no activity, for the quiet solidity of 
her parents' suburban home. New York was too 
confusing, with its office temp jobs, a new office 
each week, and that modeling job, tumbling into 
her lap, and school. A semester over, the known 
faces gone, replaced by new ones. Starting again. 
Where was permanence? 

Not that it mattered. 

She learned to take care, to avoid eyes, to look 
busy walking down the street, to bundle herself 
in a ski jacket so her figure wouldn't show. 
Sometimes she wished to be old, a white-haired 
lady, maybe even sixty, so she could walk when 
she pleased without being pressed by strange 
men. But getting old has its drawbacks. Aging, a 
mutilation of sorts, wrinkled skin like crazed 
painting. How could one live, withered, shriv- 
eled, walking around decomposing, like that old 
man who sat down beside her Friday, pink face 
cracked with white stubble lines, trio of black- 
ened teeth hanging dead center from upper 
gums? Scrupulously clean, but smelling faintly — 
of purification. No disguise. Like that decaying 
subway woman whose odor evacuates whole 
carloads of passengers, leaving her to rot alone 
with her bags and tatters and swollen carbuncled 
legs. 

No, age is no protection. Don't old ladies get 
their purses snatched, going predictably to the 
bank to cash their Social Security checks, then 
getting robbed as they hobble home? How many 
times do you pick up a newspaper to read? How 
many times walk on the sidewalk's edge so 
rapists, concealed in alleyways, can't slip a piano 
wire around your throat? 

How can Miss Subway smile so indifferently? 
Carmen Rodriguez this month, safe in her card- 
board rectangle. As clean as the day she was 



17 



snapped into place. Not even violated by a felt- 
tipped pen. Beyond the lust of graffiti 
writers.. .only a matter of days before Carin saw 
herself up there, inside the subway, perhaps, or 
on a poster, pasted on a subway wall, or maybe 
high on a billboard, towering above street gangs, 
touched only by soot. Invulnerable as Miss 
Subway. 

She reworked the words: "Carin Miller studies 
design in Brooklyn and works as a secretary" 
...as a typist, really, and only part-time, but she 
needn't mention all that... "in Manhattan where 
she lives. Carin has done some modeling" ...she 
could say that, having stretched out for the cam- 
era for that travel ad, what a fluke! ..."and plans 
to be a fashion designer when she graduates, 
unless Mr. Right comes along." How dumb! She 
wouldn't let them write that, not in this day and 
age. "Unless a movie contract..." Should she say 
that? Would she really go to Hollywood if... 
"Unless a movie contract comes along. Her pleas- 
ures are" riding? No. She didn't know how. Pho- 
tography? Well, hardly, but she did own an In- 
stamatic. Why not? "Photography, painting, 
sketching..." Then the train slowed for her stop. 

She was ready when the doors opened. She 
walked quickly, trampling a newspaper under- 
foot, the dusty signature of her sole a blemish on 
its recent morning freshness. A mass of people 
spurted out the door; she pushed flat against 
them so she wouldn't accidentally get shut in. 
Always so many people here, mostly students at 
this hour, with portfolios, books, design projects. 
Ahead of her, Dr. Whittaker who taught Myth & 
Art at 9 a.m., droning on about initiation rites. 
The eddy of people swept toward the stairs. 
Momentarily she drowned in them, only vaguely 
aware of the vacuum of the train pulling out. 
Slowly, she edged forward. She didn't fight the 
crowd's pace, didn't push ahead like that red- 
faced fool in the lumber jacket, elbowing his way 
doggedly up the stairs. One didn't elbow this 
crowd. A rough stop hers, right in the heart of 
Bed-Sty, although the school's brochures didn't 
mention that, and as often as not, a stream of 
blacks pushing up the stairs, young ones smart in 
platform shoes, looking Afro with combs stuck in 
their hair. Gangs, young boys, hung on street cor- 
ners with loud chatter, and she crossed the street, 
but what kind of insurance is that? If they want 
to try something. 

Carin took the stairs a step at a time, breathing 
slowly, trying to quell the "hurry, hurry, hurry" 
feeling. Crowds made her feel that way, get OUT 
of here, pressing her rib-cage like the tip of a 
knife, go where you're going, so you'll be safe. 
But where is safety? Not anywhere. 



"That's me!" 

Carin knew it as she rounded the top of the 
stairs, but she didn't really see it. Still, some 
consciousness of it struck her mind, registered, 
caused her to lift her eyes and gaze across shift- 
ing heads, through the subway barricade, down 
the white-tiled corridor, to the poster. So soon! 
Plastered on the wall, barely visible through the 
narrow black grill work that caged exiting bod- 
ies, but there! The poster she'd been waiting to 
see one of these days, who knew exactly where, 
rounding some corner, turning down a corridor 
or... "That's really me! There I am!" Blood rushed 
to her face, but she couldn't stop the surge of 
excitement. "Me! Carin Miller! On a poster!" She 
felt giddy. 

Of course she'd imagined this, that was the fun 
of posing, thinking of herself sprawled along 
some wall, larger than life in a black bathing suit 
holding up a long luminescent white strand of 
pearls. On an ad, with its silly slogan, long legs 
stretched naked across the bottom. She hadn't 
expected to be caught off guard. Like glimpsing 
yourself in motion walking past a store window, 
your attention riveted by a likeness you barely 
recognized, even when you know it as yourself. 
She wanted to stop, to register the moment, to let 
its reality sink in, but she couldn't. A heavy 
stream of people coming up the stairs pressed 
her slowly on, against her will. 

Edging forward, she spotted herself again, maybe 
two-thirds of herself over the shoulder of a 
heavy-set matron swinging shopping bags like a 
pair of mops, saw her larger-than-life body 
against the bright sky-blue background, fresh, 
colorful, brightening the whole corridor. So 
bright it looked wet. Maybe she'd been hung 
only that morning, unfolding rectangle by rec- 
tangle, being swept into place with a flat wallpa- 
per brush. She tingled uncomfortably, became 
conscious of people looking at her image as they 
passed the turnstyle: she began to blush. How 
could she have allowed this? On posters, all over 
town, as shameless as Miss Rodriguez, smiling 
permanently down, or like that strange lady in 
the help-the-handicapped poster, the one in a 
wheelchair grinning into the camera, not a regu- 
lar model, how could she be, her breasts, under 
her green print dress, lifted nearly to her collar 
bones, like a mistake in the upholstery. And what 
next? A series of travel ads, Mr. Lewis, the 
cameraman, said. He could use her in his fly to 
the Caribbean number, if he got the assignment. 
"You really have an island flavor," he kept 
saying. She, born and raised in an inland town in 
wintry upstate New York. What a funny profes- 
sion! How crazy to be posted on the wall! 



18 



Carin stood patiently behind Mrs. Shopping Bags 
to take her turn through the turnstyle. Two Afro- 
topped teen-age boys wedged their way ahead of 
her. She waited for the turnstyle to whip around 
after them. She could see her legs gleaming, her 
shining legs, so smooth and glowing. Oh... up 
there she looked so... impregnable, somehow. Im- 
mortalized. If only for the instant. Beyond the 
ravages of the flesh, almost monumental... well, 
not quite Cleopatra, carved for centuries in stone, 
but permanent. Her hand holding those pearls so 
absolutely still, day after day, no matter how 
many people shifted by, glancing, or not glanc- 
ing, at her arm, her legs, her body, stretched out 
in its lanky almost Oriental beauty. Where do 
you get it, family friends asked, considering her 
short plump mother, her pale-faced father. She 
didn't know. Maybe she was a throwback or 
maybe (she liked this) her mother lived a double 
life, her little mother, faithful, Carin was sure, to 
a fault. 

Still, the poster almost magically changed things. 
She felt that. Already she stood taller, straighter, 
under her bulky ski jacket. Knowing she was 
there made a difference, as though someone, 
something, would oversee these inchoate jour- 
neys through the city's churning labyrinths. 
Enough to see her through the next day, or week, 
or few months, until summer rescued her, carried 
her back to the safety of her home. 

When Carin's turn came, she whipped through 
the turnstyle without breaking stride, — riding the 
current of this unfamiliar ebullience as naturally 
as a buoy dances the Gulf Stream. She maneu- 
vered to the edge of the stream of people. One 
day she'd come up from the subway like this and 
see another poster — for a new movie or for Del 
Monte string beans. Inevitable. But how would 
that feel? She couldn't imagine. Like trying to 
believe herself a movie star watching her name 
come down off the marquee or being Queen 
Elizabeth stepping down for Prince Charles. 
Inconceivable. 

Until then, she was quite simply inviolable. In a 
deep secret place. She knew it. She drew a deep 
breath, walked briskly down the corridor: noth- 
ing can harm me, nothing, she intoned. And 
could almost believe it. 

About ten feet from the poster, she stopped, as if 
it were a Monet, best viewed from a distance. She 
let herself absorb it all: bare feet, smooth legs, 
pearls, hands, impeccably groomed fingernails 
painstakingly filed to perfect ovals — not sexy, 
just sensuous, Mr. Lewis said — and... something 
was wrong. She knew it instantly, but couldn't 



let herself see it. Something blocked her vision, 
not letting her take it in as she hadn't been able 
to absorb the story of the woman being pushed. 
Maybe the ad agency had decided not to use her, 
had pasted up another poster of a girl with a 
string of pearls and a black bathing suit. But that 
wasn't it. This was the same poster she'd mod- 
eled for, all right, only... maybe the printer had 
doctored it up, some trick of finishing to make it 
look — different, yes, different than she'd ex- 
pected. 

But that wasn't it. She'd known all along. Be- 
cause nearly everything was exactly right — the 
poster blue background, herself stretched out, her 
olive legs crossed easily at the ankle, a hand 
propping up her smiling head, her long hair 
hanging as black as the bathing suit, her other 
hand holding the pearls which dangled in a long 
oval, each pearl perfectly white, in front of her 
suit. Nothing had changed... except... except 
someone, oh, how to believe it?, except someone 
had, yes... gouged... both her eyes out. 

The sight left her empty, as though breath had 
been knocked from her lungs. It was... so inde- 
cent. So incongruous, such a corruption of perfec- 
tion. But why? What had she done? Or is this 
what it means to be... provocative, to invite... 
this? But surely beauty is no reason to... 

She moved forward, to examine her mutilated 
face, as in a dream. 

The ovals, where her eyes had been, were white 
and fuzzy, the paper worn by scraping until limp 
and gray as a used spitball. Nothing else was 
touched. Nothing. No, someone, deliberately, 
stood and scraped the paper off, carefully, with a 
screwdriver or a penknife or a fingernail file... 
had scraped and scraped, painstakingly remov- 
ing pupils and white but not a bit of eyelid, 
exposing, as it were, the very bone of her eyes' 
sockets, scraping until only... she extended her 
hand and touched the vacant cavities, gingerly, 
as one might touch a still-open wound. 

Then she fled, her shoes striking a hollow sound 
against pavement, portfolio banging wildly 
against her leg, running even after she'd gained 
the stairway and daylight and could leave it all 
behind her like a bad dream: poster, brilliant 
against the white tiled wall, blue sky, black 
bathing suit, olive skin, shimmering like the sun. 
And the eyes, of course. The eyes. Those white 
oval blanks staring out at random passersby as 
blindly as the pearls that hung, unviolated, from 
her carefully groomed hand. 

Marilyn Coffey lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York. 



19 



HENRIETTA GRAND ALL : PAINTER 

Life's pretty important stuff. 

Part "everyday" and basic — 
like reading a book, hanging the wash or petting the cat. 

Part extraordinary — 
like living under the sea or flying to the sun on the back of a bird. 

You really have to have both; 
they are of a piece. 

Henrietta Crandall, September 1989 





20 



Henrietta Crandall joined our graphics staff three 
years ago as she began painting and drawing 
classes at Governors State University. Always an 
artist in some facet, she turned to painting at the 
same time that her husband pursued a major 
career change. Uprooted from West Virginia and 
a lifestyle that she loved, she was thrust down on 
a prairie farm in the midwest with major adjust- 
ments to be made. Her work has reflected the 
many changes and alterations that have taken 
place in her life. 

It has been marvelous to watch her growth and 
development as a painter; to see it all come to 
fruition in a one woman show this fall in Boston. 
I love the humor, the freedom, the pure fun of 
her work; her paintings make me laugh out loud 
and feel good about the world (not an easy task 
these days). Her volume is prolific. The work just 
seems to flow out of her and the sampling you 
see here is a very small part of what she has 
produced. It's unfortunate that we are a black 
and white publication because her colors are 
wonderful, deep and rich. 

Although her paintings may reflect at times her 
own internal struggles, to me they embody the 
great wealth of womanhood, the potential that 
we as women have on this earth and beyond. 
Henrietta's paintings are for all women, for all 
times. 



Suzanne Oliver 
Art Director 




21 




Sister Magnavox sits on the edge of the altar, 

feet dangling. 
She looks up at the flame, squints, and thinks of 

lost loves. 
The others come in, humming a top-ten vesper hymn. 
Sister jumps down and blends into the black and 
white 

technical disruption 

Sister Magnavox joined because they promised 

to get colorized. 
The black soon to become a drab green habit. 
The white, coral across the brow. 
Is it legal? Is it ethical? 
Sister's heart sings in drab green and coral. 

Sister repents for her sins. 

They are red and black, sure. But they are also 

gold lame and glistening silver. 
They are even grass. They are even flesh. 
Oh, sister, sister. Repent. Do what you must! 

But come back to the rainbow. 

Deborah Garretson 



<m tiiarwu. 



C fig •VWU'AL./ 



22 



REBECCA DRAKE 
ADDRESSES THE RALLY 

Illinois NOW Rally 
Springfield, September 23, 1989. 

Good morning! We are gathered here today to 
publicly demonstrate our support of reproduc- 
tive freedom, a constitutional freedom that is 
slowly being chipped away. We are here to 
sound the alarm and to stand up for the rights of 
privacy for women and the most basic right of 
privacy, the right to control our own bodies and 
the decision of when and if to give birth. 

We live in a society that likes to idealistically 
believe that all conceptions take place in love, 
warmth, and intimacy, and that all children will 
be wanted and generously cared for. But the 
reality is that many times conception takes place 
in anger, hate, brutality and force. 

Women are not and will not be baby-making 
machines for a patriarchal society. We won't wait 
for politicians and governors to pat us on the 
head and decide what's best for us. We need to 
claim that right for ourselves and stand up for 
our convictions. We are being called to take 
action by your support of pro-choice candidates 
and by your volunteer efforts, your generous 
financial support, and most importantly, your 
vote on election day. Pro-choice candidates need 
us and we certainly need them in the House and 
the Senate and the Governor's office. 

Try to imagine what it will be like if Roe v. Wade 
is overturned. Will those same self-righteous 
sounding pro-lifers be willing to help women 
raise the children? Adoption is the option, they 
proclaim! That's great if you are a white, male, 
newborn infant. But will they provide adoption 
incentives for families to adopt AIDS babies, 
coke babies, ethnic babies, handicapped babies, 
or older children? 

Will they provide safe and responsible daycare 
services for women so they can continue to 
provide for their families? Or do they want to 
condemn women to the public welfare rolls? Will 
they support job training for women and classes 
for pregnant teens so they can finish their educa- 
tion? Will they support sex education classes so 
teens can learn to be sexually responsible citi- 
zens? Are they willing to support mandating 
fathers to be responsible for their child support? 
Of course the answers are "NO"! 

Theirs is a punitive attitude against women. 
They imply that women can't determine their 




own fate, make their own choices, or know the 
direction of their own lives. They want to give 
that right to the politicians. 

Until they are willing to provide those kinds of 
services for women, we must never let Roe v. 
Wade or any other anti-choice legislation slip by 
us. Many pro-lifers have their own right-wing 
political agenda and this is only a piece of that 
agenda. If they take away this basic right, which 
constitutional freedom is next? 

They try very hard to portray pro-choice sup- 
porters as some radical fringe element. We are 
the real silent majority! We must not remain 
silent too long. We must speak out now! We can 
quickly lose those few fundamental rights we 
have fought for, for so long. 

There have always been and there will always be 
abortions. Roe v. Wade in 1973 took abortions 
away from the back alley butchers and helped 
provide safe, legal services for women. 

Joe McHugh, Information Director of Planned 
Parenthood of Springfield area, once said it so 
well: "Until the perfect birth control method is 
invented, and until there is no rape, no incest, no 
life threatening consequences for some pregnan- 
cies, no fatal genetic syndromes, and until hu- 
man beings have perfect memories, perfect 
foresight, and perfect relationships, there will 
always be a need for safe and legal abortions." 

We will never go back... We will never give up! 
Thank you! 



Rebecca Drake, M.A., does individual, couple, and family 
counseling, and is a Certified Divorce Mediator. She prac- 
tices in Lincoln, Illinois. 



23 



MICHIKO ITATANI: CONTEMPORARY PAINTER 



ABOUT THE ARTIST BY RUTH AIZUSS MIGDAL 

Michiko Itatani was born in Japan, where she took her first degree in literature and philosophy, the perfect grounding for 
an artist of any discipline. 

After graduation, she came to Chicago to study art. She wanted to learn a new language, another art form, the visual arts. 
In Chicago, she earned an MFA in painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she is an Associate Profes- 
sor in painting and drawing. 

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Included among her honors are museum shows, an NEA 
Artist fellowship, and invitations to visiting artist positions around the country. In Japan, she is considered an American 
artist. 

Her work combines and juxtaposes tight linear control with writhing organic, gigantic calligraphic figures floating and 
bursting through space. These enormous paintings are deeply emotional. They are constructed like musical scores as they 
become a diagram of our cosmology concerned with space, time and action. These ferocious figures became an element in 
the paintings after the artist saw a video of herself working. She realized that her body working was an integral part of the 
painting. 

In my opinion, Michiko's complex combination of Eastern and Western thought have joined to become a unique and 
personal art form. I find her work powerful and transforming. 




"Untitled", Writing/G 



24 



For me, to be an artist is an intellectual choice and a care- 
fully chosen commitment. There is no intoxication. My 
painting is a painted diagram of my cosmology. It is 
incomplete, fragmented and under inquiry. 

We are on this seemingly insignificant planet in this insig- 
nificant location in the galaxy. Being confined to this small 
dot, the human mind travels around the universe. Even 
before we could circle the earth, we started to search the 
inner and outer space of the universe. I inherited that 
tradition of investigation, and my paintings are proofs of my 
personal inquiry. The inquiry is my way of life. 

My image making is an issue of representation: you choose 
one and then other possibilities are eliminated. Gain one and 
lose another, lose one and gain another. An accumulation of 
small choices makes life, people, and painting. Bodies in my 
painting are symbolic containers of human minds. Their 
equal relationship to the other elements of my painting — 
linear elements which are proof of my time/ritual, other 
brush strokes which are traces of my bodily movements, the 
size and the shape of canvas — make the whole of one 
painting. Yet a painting is still a fragment of the whole: 

thinking/ decision making/doing/living. 



I am interested in how the human mind works, especially in 
the extreme conditions of being a victim/an offender, an 
introvert/an extrovert, and a controller/a submitter. I 
investigate the uncertain line between permitted/ forbidden, 
normal/pathological and decent/indecent in various value 
systems. 

I am intrigued by mind's ability to be obsessed by unattain- 
able desire and disproportionate ambition. My recent work 
deals with the human desire to work collectively toward 
harmonious existence, an existence which often appears as 
an unattainable desire. However, within this theme, I am 
portraying the personal/social/political human struggle 
toward harmony with passion and optimism. 

I wish to share my thoughts on the contradiction of desire 
and choice through my work. I believe communication 
through art is a valuable option because of its complex, 
ambiguous nature, a nature which allows itself to go beyond 
often harsh personal/social/political borders. 

Michiko Itatani 




; llation Studies, 1988, 110" x 312", oil and acryllic on canvas. 



25 



THE CYCLE OF RETURN 



TO A HORSE ON A BLEAK 
KNIGHT 



Three times around, then four 

we've shared, woman, the view 

from the same window. 

In the first warmth of spring, 

we lay there with Rebecca, 

white in the sunshine 

as we averted our eyes 

from her massive bosom. 

How she purred in that body. 

How she stretched and took wing 

as she laid down her lace 

among the prairie smoke. 

Consecrated her body 

in the turbulence of Graves Creek. 

Later, in the ripe heat of August 

you stood there, brown skinned, 

hair burnished by long days on horseback. 

Singing, while your father passed over 

into that other world. 

That night, we gathered 

to rearrange the stars. 

But found them fallen 

like dew, around us. 

Three times around, then four 

we sat, and stared out 

into November's bare arms. 

Clouds grey, thick upon the mountains 

as we loitered in some summer heat. 

Fires banked, against the cold. 

Brenda Tao Lee Nesbitt 



Carry me away, winged and feathered horse 
Away from bleak knights and New Dawn and 
New Fresh Downey. 
I need to escape. 

But, horse o' mine 

I want my own wings. 

I want my own dangling participle, looking 

through 

euphemistic glasses and drinking rose 
colored wine 

which really is rose colored. 

You were not meant to be a work horse. 

You were meant to race. 

But a bleak knight cannot race fast enough. 

You must rediscover the wheel. Discover that it 

is 

not round, but pear shaped. It was meant 
for waltzing. 

Deborah Garretson 



TEENAGE DAUGHTER 




This summer as you finish 
your tadpole phase, pure 
mornings turn brackish; 
the wild roses fade by noon; 
your mutter like the leaves — 
your body's a traitor, foreign, 
a deepening where only 
shallows once lapped 
trusted shores. 

In the odd moments, you gather 
yourself like the clouds, allowing 
the clear eye of the sun 
to silken your mood. You 
listen for the trout's splash, 
the heavy insect drone carried 
like secrets over the waves. 

Sure, you gently 

tread rocks smoothed 

by a century of summers 

into the cool lake 

where you dive 

quick as summer's end 

and with strong stroke 

seek the silver center 

where past and future merge. 



Barbara M. Simon 



26 



BO O K REVIEW: 
HIGH BLOOD/PRESSURE 



by Michelle Clinton 

West End Press, San Rafael, CA, 1987 

Reviewed by Terri Jewell 



I attended an "Author's Banquet" and fundraiser 
in Louisville, KY, this past November. The guest 
speaker, an attractive blonde with a Southern 
drawl, read a few selections from her journal just 
released by a major publisher. She described the 
antics of her grandchildren and the sibling 
rivalry among them. She also commented on her 
dismay over the bitterness and despair found in 
the writing of other authors, feeling it was better 
to find what was good and dispel the misery to 
foster hope. Michelle Clinton, Black poet and 
performance artist, winner of the 1985 Alice 
Jackson Poetry Award and a Brody Arts Founda- 
tion Fellowship, believes that hope is fostered 
through acknowledgement of the existence of 
problems, not denial. 

Her first book of poetry, High Blood/Pressure, 
requires the reader to take notice and to think 
about solutions, not about summer squash blos- 
soms or fading barnwood. Her poetry packs the 
power of a hand grenade, but does not kill. It 
offers the sensitivity of fresh scarifications, but 
does not wound. It throbs with the rhythms of 
dance, but does not tire. 

Clinton writes about Watts, an area of Los Ange- 
les practically leveled by racial unrest in the 
1960s, but does so for the 1980s. She gracefully 
avoids the charbroiled, didactic quality expected 
of an urban Black's realistic work. Nevertheless, 
she provides no bush to cower behind and no ex- 
cuses and she writes in a richly cultural and 
quite accessible language. 

There is a hard truth evident in Clinton's per- 
sonal strength and vision. Her 26 prose poems 
reveal the psychic disruption of eviction, the 
accepted prevalence of spouse abuse in "Did She 
Bleed?" and the emotional residuals of rape in a 
potent piece, "On Sex in July." One hilarious 
poem, "Ghetto Disease," satirizes the effective- 
ness of "stress management" techniques within 
the context of urban deprivation: 

So when I asked my calm faced doctor what I 
got to do to get well, so I kin work, buy 
groceries & move, he said 'Stress. Eliminate 
stress from your life & you'll be fine.' 



Clinton's sense of humor runs throughout the 
vocally hip poem, "Trying to Draw a Square 
Poet" where she subtly repudiates the allure of 
contemporary trends. And, of course, the poet 
does not overlook love in her work, creating an 
instance of self-love in the simple act of making 
one's own toasted bread "...'cause you the only 
one can get toast right." She also tells of close 
friendships with women, shadows of love with 
men, and the promise of romance articulated in 
Motown songs. 

High Blood/Pressure exposes and examines the 
psychological dichotomy of having a mixed 
heritage, provides the reader with a survival 
manifesto for the streets, and describes the sheer 
madness that can erupt once total powerlessness 
over one's life is accepted, even for an instant. 
One antidote is prescribed in Clinton's "Spiritual 
Women's Resistance" in which passivity is 
denounced: 



On the quarter moon we meditate 

on Venus's rise 

to channel a knowing 

back into our hands, 

we must steady 

tomorrow, we gather to gather 

healing lights 

charged 

with a dead 

serious 

plan to fight. 

At the last, lines of High Blood /Pressure lay down 
hope for final human resurrection in "Bombs 
Away/Poem for the Church in Ocean Park." 

So, despite the fact that all is not well in Michelle 
Clinton's universe, she has successfully used all 
the sound, texture, color and movement around 
her to show the reader the intense emotion and 
optimism embedded deep within a people. 
There are several lifetimes packed between the 
covers of this small volume, and it would be to 
the thinking reader's advantage to contemplate 
the unalarmed messages of Michelle Clinton. 



Terri Jewell is a widely published poet, writer and critic. She 
lives in Lansing, Michigan. 



27 





"0 



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O 

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SEAVER 
BOOKS 

HENRY 
HOLT 




Book Review 
MY PLACE 



Sally Morgan 

New York: Seaver Books, 1987. 

Reviewed by Mary E. Howes 

Pooh lived in a world of his own and he be- 
lieved in magic, the same as me. He wasn't 
particularly good at anything, but everyone 
loved him anyway. I was fascinated by the way 
he could make an adventure out of anything, 
even tracks in the snow. 

Sally Morgan's feeling about Winnie the Pooh 
epitomizes my feeling about her. She lives and 
breathes in a world where every action is an 
adventure and a story. My Place is a fascinating 
account of "an aborigine's stubborn quest for her 
truth, heritage, and origins." It is also much 
more than this. It is a search for the meaning of 
origins and history for all of us, men or women, 
black or white. 

Why should this book mean so much to me? My 
own origins have always been clear. I was born 
and raised in England and grew up with a strong 
sense of who I am and who came before me. 
True, since my teenage years I have roamed 
widely, living in Scotland, Germany, Canada and 
Australia before finally coming to the mid-west. 
True also, that my oldest daughter lived in 
nineteen places before her twelfth birthday, 
including four countries. But despite all this 
moving, I never felt rootless. I never felt the lack 
of continuity that Americans, black and white, so 
often feel. Yet Sally Morgan's book moved me to 
tears and to laughter. And it probed my feelings 
about life itself. 

Why? I believe roots are very important. A 
sense of where we come from strengthens us. It 
empowers us to become who and what we 
choose. And those who do not have it are 
robbed of that empowerment. I think of my 
daughter's friend Angela, a wonderful, talented 
girl. "It's different for you," she says. "You're 
white. There are things you can do that I can't." 
For years I didn't believe her. I told her she 
could do anything she chose. Sally Morgan's 
book has given me a glimpse of why Angela felt 
as she did. It has vastly enriched my under- 
standing. 

Sally Morgan grew up in suburban Perth, during 



the nineteen fifties and sixties. At fifteen she 
discovered that she and her family were aborigi- 
nal and set out on a quest to discover what this 
meant. In 1979 she decided to write a book 
about her family history. Her mother's response 
was brief. 

"You can't write a book about our family," 
she spluttered, "you don't know anything!" 

"Aah, but I'm going to find out, aren't I?" 

And she does. She traces her family back to 
Corunna Downs in Northern Australia through 
family, friends, relatives and people she meets 
during her search. 

The story unfolds on many levels. There is the 
biography of Sally Morgan, a black woman 
searching for herself: the story of a small girl 
growing up believing she was Indian, but mak- 
ing decisions about who she was and who she 
would be. Then there is the story of Sally's quest 
for her real self, the self that has been shaped by 
her origins. She gradually uncovers the hidden 
story of her family and of the different family 
members: her grandmother, her mother, and her 
uncle. Their stories are related by each of them, 
capturing the sense as well as the facts of their 
lives. These glimpses of social history are pain- 
fully real. 

Sally also tells the story of aborigines in a deter- 
minedly white society. Until she was at univer- 
sity, she had thought Australia the least racist 
country in the world. Now she was learning that 
was not so. In a conversation with her mother, 
she describes the time when her grandmother 
was young. 

Aborigines were considered sub-normal and 
not capable of being educated the way whites 
were. You know, the pastoral industry was 
built on the back of slave labour. Aboriginal 
people were forced to work, if they didn't the 
station owners called the police in. I always 
thought Australia was different to America, 
Mum, but we had slavery here, too. The 
people might not have been sold on the 
blocks like the American Negroes were, but 
they were owned, just the same. 

Sally's story is by no means all serious. Her 
concise, visual style races from one set of images 
to another, from the opening scene where she is 
a "grubby five-year-old in an alien environment" 
(the hospital) to her grandmother's death. On 
each page another story is told. 

Each of the characters develops through a series 
of miniatures. For example, there is Nan, her 
grandmother, who doesn't admit until Sally is a 
junior in high school, that she is black. Sally 



29 



finds her sitting at the kitchen table, crying. 

I froze in the doorway, I'd never seen her cry 
before. 

"Nan ... what's wrong?" 

"Nothin'!" 

"Then what are you crying for?" 

She lifted up her arm and thumped her 
clenched fist hard on the kitchen table. "You 
bloody kids don't want me, you want a 
bloody white grandmother. I'm black. 

Do you hear, black, black, black." 

Then there's Nan's private theory for eradicating 
germs: distribute chopped onions throughout 
the house. There's her conversation with the 
trees in their back yard. And her certainty that 
kerosene rubs cure aches and pains. 

Sally emerges as a strong, creative person who 
understands the importance of her origins and 
the continuity that links her to them. Her words 
caused me to think about who I am, as well as 
about the fate of a woman who grew up in a 
social environment very different from my own. 
I too have a strong sense of my origins and their 
continuity, a sense I never questioned until I was 
living in the United States in the nineteen seven- 
ties. British born and raised, I had accepted the 
standard argument that British imperialism was 
virtuous and that colonialism had helped the 
various native populations. In the aftermath of 
Vietnam I had begun to question my ineffable 
sense of right. I also discovered that knowing 
one's ancestors had been frequently in the 
wrong, did not mean rejecting them. The conti- 
nuity was there. The key was to decide what 
was right now, and then to act on it. 

Sally Morgan helped to confirm this sense of 
origins. History is important. It is our back- 
ground and it has helped to shape us. But it 
does not dictate the future. Sally's thoughts after 
her trip to Corunna Downs integrate her knowl- 
edge of the past into her present. "What had 
begun as a tentative search for knowledge had 
grown into a spiritual and emotional pilgrimage. 
We had an Aboriginal consciousness now, and 
were proud of it." 

In her review of My Place, Alice Walker says that: 

This sad, and wise, and funny book is of 
inestimable value in comprehending the solid 
relatedness of the global community, the 
oneness of spirit of all "Aboriginal" peoples 
whether in Australia or elsewhere, and the 
inhuman war of genocide that white su- 
premacists on every continent have waged- 
against us. 



I concur in this, and see incidents in my own life 
which strike me with horror. There was the time 
I crossed from Canada into the U.S., driving a 
shabby van, with my two daughters and their 
very American friends: the younger from a 
WASP background, the older a black, born and 
bred in Kansas. The immigration officer exam- 
ined my green card. My younger daughter, who 
had been shipped to me from school suffering 
from mononucleosis, had left her green card in 
her dorm room. After a few minutes conversa- 
tion, the immigration officer accepted my story, 
and asked the kids (all of whom were sleeping) 
to sit up so he could see who was there. At this 
moment the indignity began. The officer took 
one look at Angela and insisted we enter the 
immigration building. There Angela, born in 
Kansas, was interrogated about her birth, her 
parents, her occupation and other totally irrele- 
vant items. Inside I seethed. But the insecurity 
caused by my daughter's missing green card 
held my protest inside. 

Read My Place for enjoyment. Read it to learn 
more about life as an aboriginal. Read it to 
discover how one woman empowered herself by 
discovering the truth about her origins. Above 
all, read it to learn something about yourself. 



Dr. Mary Howes is professor of management at Governors 
State University and works with organizations undergoing 
change. She has two daughters, one born in Australia and 
one born in British Columbia. She has lived and worked in 
England, Germany and France. 



30 



POPPIE 



NONGENA 




ONE WOMAN'S 
STRUGGLE 
AGAINST 

APARTHEID 



ELSA 
JOUBERT 




FOREWORD BY 



ALAIN! PAT© 




Book Review: 
POPPIE NONGENA 



Elsa Joubert 

Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1987 

Reviewed by Sonya Monroe 

Published originally in Afrikaans in South Africa, 
Poppie Nongena became a best seller; based on the 
actual life story of a Black woman living in the 
Cape area of South Africa today, only her name 
is invented. In this novel Elsa Joubert clearly 
outlines what is a familiar story of people up- 
rooted, many of whom had been rich in land and 
other material possessions. We are reminded of 
the Native Americans and the reservations. We 
are reminded of Middle Eastern refugees and 
European Jews, of all people who have been 
forcibly removed form their homes. Through 
Poppie's eyes, Joubert shows a people changed, 
impoverished, who can take with them only a 



few memories of their previous lives, a cherished 
table or dresser, a feather quilt. "People changed 
for the worst," Poppie says. 

Elsa Joubert chronicles the uprisings, the rebel- 
lions in South Africa, showing them to us as 
Poppie sees them, in shock. Adults lost control of 
the children who, angry and grieving their own 
losses, rebelled against their parents. Many quit 
school and became "skollies," the vagabonds and 
robbers who preyed on drunk or old people. 
Alcohol, as usual, is used to escape, to forget 
one's misery. Mosie, Poppie's brother, tells his 
uncle, "Buti, how can you know anything that 
goes on? You're in dreamland the whole year." 
Poppie, who thought her children were protected 
because they were on the land, far away from the 
city when the 1976 rebellion of the children 
began, finds that the turmoil reaches out to grab 
them. She says, "Peace will not come... even 
those that wish for peace will be dragged into 
troubles. We will have to grow used to that. 
About that we can do nothing." 

Poppie Nongena is a tribute to a woman, indomi- 
table and resilient beyond belief. This extraordi- 
nary woman, who multiplied thousands of times 
over, becomes ordinary in apartheid South 
Africa, commands awe and respect. Joubert 
invokes the reader's participation in Poppie's life 
which is almost a litany of grief, for it is grieving, 
day in and day out which lines Poppie's days 
and nights. Grief with its fury, false hope, drag- 
ging depression, eroding anxiety, and finally 
acceptance dogs Poppie's existence. 

This is the way I felt as I read Poppie Non- 
gena's life story. One experiences a sense of her 
utter exhaustion from daily battles which she 
carries on even in the face of the enforced separa- 
tions and losses, deprivations of basic amenities, 
and having to start all over again, even to build- 
ing her own home. Each time, the legislated im- 
poverishment deepens. Yes, she did fall apart, 
Joubert shows us. Poppie is not superhuman. She 
fell out on her cot, was wiped out physically and 
sometimes emotionally, but she got up over and 
over again. Her unselfishness is astonishing. She 
accepted and even sought increased responsibili- 
ties for her own children, for her brothers, her 
uncle and her grandchild. 

There are many aspects of Poppie's life that are 
different from mine, perhaps even most. Yet, 
there are familiar threads woven throughout her 
life journey that reappear, echoing in the fabric of 
my own, from the ancestors to the present day. I 
thought about the unofficial enslavement, the 
backbreaking underpaid work on the southern 



31 



plantations after emancipation which was the lot 
of many men, women, and children up through 
the 1950's, even the 60's. Joubert vividly de- 
scribes how during her childhood, Poppie 
worked with her family at the fish factory in 
Lambert's Bay where they had moved. The boats 
came in loaded with fish, sometimes at three 
o'clock in the morning, sometimes as early as one 
o'clock. They were awakened by the factory 
whistle, and might work from that time until 
eleven the next night, and again from morning to 
night to morning again. Once this went on for 
four days, and the people began to stay home, 
but were rounded up by the foreman from their 
barracks and taken back to the factories, "...no, 
we didn't stop at all," she says. I thought about 
the children in this country where I live, and 
there in that country where Poppie lives, who are 
taken out of school either by parents who could 
not leave little ones alone and work too, or by the 
children themselves who, seeing their parents 
losing the struggle to stay afloat, quit school to 
bring additional money into the household. I 
thought about the thousands of decent poor 
families struggling to maintain some order and 
structure in their lives, to keep the traditions, to 
obtain an education, however meager and spotty, 
to eat, to rest, to spend time with the children, to 
share the meager goods, to give encouragement 
and love. 

Joubert skillfully conveys Poppie's psychological 
state. Her life is one of constant uncertainty and 
anxiety about possible forced moves. She worries 
about the children from whom she is periodically 
separated by the law or by her own doing in 
order to work and survive. She is fierce in her 
determination to protect the vulnerable children. 
They must be sent to this aunt or that brother, or 
remain with her husband from whom she is 
finally separated after seven years of often 
weekly visits to the pass office to seek an exten- 
sion. As Alan Paton tells us in his excellent 
foreword to the book, "the harsh fact is that the 
Black man's labor is wanted in the industries of 
the cities, but his wife and children are not. They 
are to be left behind in the Homelands [previ- 
ously the Reserves], and will receive money from 
the cities if their husband and father is faithful." 
Certain parts of this law stated that the man 
could not bring his family back to the city until 
he had worked ten years for the same employer. 
Later, this was changed to fifteen years. Like so 
many others, Poppie and her husband resisted 
this ruling, and found one excuse after another to 
obtain extensions. But she never knew for longer 
than two or three months ahead whether or not 
she would be able to stay in Capetown, all the 



family together. There were pass raids in the 
locations where the Black people were crowded 
together in shanties surrounded by junk. The 
children would run through the streets and warn 
the adults, who would then hide in the bushes, 
the wardrobes, or lavatories. Poppie said, "this 
always running to hide was no life for me." 

Joubert effectively portrays the capricious cruelty 
in language, gesture and act of white men and 
women. The distant faceless authority of the gov- 
ernment was reflected in the eyes and faces of 
clerks, secretaries and local officials with whom 
the Black people became uncomfortably and inti- 
mately familiar. There are the unpredictable, 
inconsistent kindnesses, perhaps inspired by 
some fleeting recognition of shared humanity, 
but Poppie could not count on them. Some did 
help her in her attempts to obtain extensions on 
her time in the city. I was proud as a social work 
educator to know that one of the most helpful to 
Poppie was a social worker. Another, the pass 
clerk, gave her bus fare when she was pregnant. 
Some even said that it was the law and they did 
not like to enforce it. Nevertheless, Poppie's 
family found that enforcement was not uniform. 
Joubert repeats her brother Jakkie's comments, 
"if it suits the white people, the law does not 
count.. .that's no law is it?" This was after the 
wife of a government official who wanted Poppie 
to work for her arranged for her pass to be per- 
manently stamped, "No objection." This occurred 
after the years of loneliness and struggle and her 
husband's death. She had needed this dispensa- 
tion so much before, why was it available now? 

Joubert writes movingly, using Poppie's voice, 
sometimes that of a family member, and at times 
that of the observer telling Poppie's story. 
Through these techniques, conversational and 
narrative, we are drawn deeply into Poppie's 
existence. We walk and struggle through it with 
her. We laugh a little. We feel the release she 
experiences, the uplift brought to her miracu- 
lously through prayer. Poppie has an abiding 
faith. Here, in the church where she can actually 
cry out to the Lord with her friends and neigh- 
bors for assistance, for mercy and for strong 
protections, she finds renewed sources of energy. 
She receives a special grace through this sharing. 

Joubert communicates Poppie's profound sense 
of loss when her husband died, even though they 
had been separated for many years with infre- 
quent visits. He had contracted tuberculosis 
years before, working for the dairy under terrible 
conditions. He had been faithful and responsible, 
working when sick, and sending money unfail- 
ingly over the years. Then, having developed 



32 



heart trouble and ulcers, he finally died of over- 
work and a broken heart. Poppie says, "It was 
not the [witch doctor's potion] that killed him, it 
was the hard life in the Cape.. .and the hardest 
for him was the burden she had to bear." So 
now, alone without the contribution her husband 
had made, Poppie girds herself to carry on. 
Joubert shows how one is driven to violate the 
apartheid laws. Poppie does so, and stays in the 
Cape with her mother, brothers, and other family 
members whom she knows and loves, the only 
place where she had known some joy. 

Always, constantly she is engrossed with the 
tasks of providing for protection and supervision 
of the children. She says, "I won't leave my girls 
unprotected in NU7 [the location]." Other adoles- 
cent girls had become pregnant, but Poppie's 
daughters had not. 

Joubert communicates effectively the commit- 
ment of Poppie and her entire family to educa- 
tion. We see how her children and brothers try to 
stay in school. They work awhile and go back to 
secondary school even at age twenty and older to 
finish. We learn how this woman gave her 
children survival skills. To the distraught daugh- 
ter she had to take out of school and send to the 
rural area to reside with paternal grandparents, 
she says, "you must not forget.. .keep thinking of 
next year, next year at school." 



A tired resignation and cynicism grows inside 
Poppie and her people. Poppie says, 'That is the 
way we know life.. .we don't mind about injus- 
tice, about whether a thing is right or not.. .our 
lives are upside down anyway." Joubert brings 
this remarkable book to a close with Poppie 
thinking, "And if my children had to be drawn 
into this thing, then that is what they were born 
to. And who can take from their path that to 
which they were born?" 

This is a book about a holocaust, a present day 
holocaust. It echoes those that have gone before, 
in the United States, in Germany, in places all 
over the world wherever people are besieged by 
a cruel authority, sometimes faceless, sometimes 
distant, but always inescapable. Poppie Nongena 
is a woman with whom we can all identify in 
some way. She is a person who, in spite of being 
deprived of the loving caress, a comfortable 
home, security, or even simple luxuries, never, 
ever gave up. You cannot read it and remain the 
same. 



Sonya V. Monroe, ACSW, Ed.D., is University Professor of 
Social Work at Governors State University. Among her pas- 
sionate interests are history, the African diaspora, sociopo- 
litical issues, and the fine and creative arts. 



We appeal as human beings to human beings: 
Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. 

Albert Einstein 
Last public statement 



33 




Book Revi ew: 

DAUGHTERS OF COPPER WOMAN 

Anne Cameron 

Press Gang, Vancouver, B.C. 

Reviewed by Michele McMaster 



For years, Anne Cameron has been listening to 
the stories from the native people of Vancouver 
Island, Canada. Special among these were some 
tales shared by the members of a secret society of 
women. These women, part of a matriarchal, 
matrilineal culture, gave her permission to record 
these stories and the result was Daughters of 
Copper Woman. Cameron has skillfully captured 
the flavor of their oral history by retelling the 
stories in a style similar to the way she heard 
them. 



For several of the stories Cameron created a char- 
acter, Granny, a wise woman from this secret 
society, who relates some of the more recent 
tribal "herstory." Granny's reasons for finally 
allowing these stories to be recorded explain the 
ultimate purpose of the book: "Women are 
bringing the pieces of the truth together. Women 
are believing again that we have a right to be 
whole. Scattered pieces from the black sisters, 
from the yellow sisters, from the white sisters are 
coming together.... Without the truth we have 
protected, women won't have the weapons of 
defence [sic] they need. If we hold our secret to 
ourselves any longer, we help the evil ones 
destroy the Womanspirit" (p. 145). 

Granny recalls how men and women warriors 
fought successfully to defend themselves against 
Spanish invaders. Ultimately, diseases that these 
invaders brought decimated the tribes. Large 
chunks of tribal history and traditions were 
therefore lost. She explains: "Some people were 
interested and memorized family ties by birth 
and marriage, some memorized trade and fishing 
right agreements, some memorized songs and 
chants for navigating by sea current, some 
memorized the words of songs or poems, or the 
steps of dances. Of course it's a risky way to do 
it. Each smallpox or tuberculosis epidemic 
carried off chapters of what had been a real 
living history" (p. 68). 

Granny, who says she had been the Queen 
Mother of the tribe but now no tribe exists for 
her to rule, recalls how memorized chants helped 
their tribe travel as far as Japan and Hawaii on 
the ocean currents. Another story tells about a 
ring of stones that forecasts the rising of the sun 
and moon. She describes how tribal clowns kept 
people from getting too pushy or taking them- 
selves too seriously. 

Besides Granny's tales, Cameron includes many 
other legends and myths, including the story of 
Sisiutl, the fearsome sea monster, who symbol- 
izes the courage necessary to face fear. When 
women become too complacent and allow men 
too much control, the story of Tern Eyos Ki 
reminds men and women of their responsibilities. 
The "Song of Bear" describes an Indian woman 
who lived with a bear. 

Cameron tells about Copper Woman, also known 
as the Old Woman, the Goddess who is mother 
to us all, who arrived on these shores 187 1/2 
lifetimes (a lifetime is 80 years) ago because the 
Old Ways were being challenged in her home- 
land by the invasion of barbarians. Her eldest 
daughter, Mowita, married a goddess who incar- 
nated as a man and they had children. Mowita's 



34 



four sons married Copper Woman's four daugh- 
ters and these couples set out for the four corners 
of the earth to become the four races. 

As much as this is a book of these tribal stories, it 
is also a book about remembering. Using these 
stories, Cameron has laid the groundwork to 
remember by triggering emotions. Memories 
ride on emotions. She evokes sadness for the 
culture lost in the name of progress, anger about 
the lost wisdom, joy knowing there is the poten- 
tial for something bigger and wiser than what 
presently exists, and hope that someday every- 
one will remember and harmony and peace will 
return. 

Cameron suggests that the reader try to remem- 
ber traditions from her foremothers. She should 



reach back into the farthest recesses of her mind 
and see if she can remember about a society of 
women, reach back until she can discover any 
family heritage where women knew about the 
"soft power." Was there ever a time when 
women did not believe their bodies were shame- 
ful? when men listened to women as equals? If 
each woman lets herSelf look, Cameron believes 
she can find and recreate her own "herstory." 

This book may be difficult for American readers 
to find in bookstores because Press Gang Publish- 
ers is a Canadian feminist publishing and print- 
ing collective. The book and catalogs of their 
other publications are available from them at 603 
Powell St., Vancouver, B.S. V6A 1H2, Canada. 



TOXIC WASTE DOESNt 

BELONG IN 

ANYONE'S! iCKYARD 



-CLEAR/NG. 
- HAZARD 




Lois Gibbs, Executive Director 



Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes 



"If you don't like the way 
the world is, you change it . . . 



>* 



Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can 
change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has. 

Margaret Mead 



35 



c P c E^r ( E Sp mitts 




Fourth in a series 



PLANETHOOD 



A remarkable little book is going the rounds: 
Planethood: The Key to Your Survival and Prosperity 
by Benjamin B. Ferencz and Ken Keyes, Jr. Dr. 
Ferencz was Prosecutor, Nuremburg War Crimes 
Trials, which led him to a lifelong interest in 
international law as the only way to prevent 
future wars. Currently he is Adjunct Professor of 
International Law at Pace University. Ken Keyes, 
co-author, publishes the College Bookroom, Coos 
Bay, Oregon. 

Planethood is a distillation of the wisdom Fer- 
encz has accumulated over the years, expressed 
in a language so clear, straightforward, and 
simple that is could be used as a text in junior 
high school. This is a book for everyone! The 
ideas are important to our survival and hold out 
hope that the people of Planet Earth can raise 
consciousness and understanding to the point at 
which governments begin to substitute the force 
of law for the law of force. 

What is to be done? The first step is to insist on 
our ultimate human right — the right to live in a 
peaceful world, free from the threat of death by 
nuclear war. The achievements already recorded 
by the United Nations and the International 
Court of Justice provide the foundation for a 
lawful world. However, according to the authors, 
the UN must be reformed if it is to become truly 
effective. To accomplish this, the authors present 
Richard Hudson's idea for the "Binding Triad," 
an ingenious design which provides "a way for 
the world to make up its mind." 

THE BINDING TRIAD 

Hudson, founder of the Center for War/ Peace 
Studies, conceived the "Binding Triad" as a 
system that would increase the powers of the UN 
General Assembly with sufficient authority to do 
its job, but with a variety of checks and balances 
to assure that this authority would not be 
abused. This transformation would require only 
two amendments: 

"The voting system in the General Assem- 
bly would be changed, under Article 18. Im- 
portant decisions would still be made with 
a single vote, but with three simultaneous 
majorities within that vote. Approval of a 



PROCLAMATION! 

1 HEREBY ASSERT: 

I have the 


o 

30 


right to live 

in a peaceful 

world free 


-4 

s 
> 

m 


from the 


X 


threat of 


> 


death 


30 


by nuclear 




war. 


wmim 
»«■■■ 



The proclamation from Planethood. 



resolution (which would then be an enforce- 
able global law) would require a favorable 
vote including, of those present and voting, 
two-third majorities of the member states, 
countries with that proportion of the 
world's population, and nations making 
two-third of the contributions to the regular 
U.N. budget. The political bottom line is 
that for a resolution to win approval under 
the Binding Triad system, it will have to 
win strong support from most of the coun- 



36 




tries of the world, most of the population of 
the world, and most of the political/eco- 
nomic/military strength of the world. 

Under the Binding Triad amendment to 
Article 13, the powers of the U.G. General 
Assembly would be greatly increased; in 
fact, the Assembly would be transformed 
from a powerless "town meeting of the 
world" into a functioning global legislature. 
The amendment would provide that As- 
sembly resolutions are no longer simply 
recommendations, but are binding laws en- 
forceable, if necessary, by peacekeeping 
forces and/or economic sanctions. 

However, the Assembly would be explicitly 
barred from employing military forces, 
which would remain the prerogative of the 
Security Council. The Assembly would also 
continue to be bound by the present Char- 
ter provision that it cannot "intervene in 
matters which are essentially within the 
jurisdiction of any state." If the jurisdiction 
were in doubt, the issue would be referred 
to the World Court, and if the court ruled 
that the question was essentially domestic, 
the Assembly could not act. Most impor- 
tantly, the new Assembly would pass laws 
not only on peace and security questions, 
but also on the environment, human rights, 
economic justice, and all other issues that 
are genuinely global in nature. 



THE GREAT REHEARSAL 

For me, the most telling argument is contained in 
Chapter 3, "Become a Peace Patriot." In the 
perilous days when America had no federal gov- 
ernment, the decade between the successful 
conclusion of the War for Independence and the 
signing of the U.S. Constitution, the thirteen 
nation-states were disorderly. Each sought its 
own advantage and jealously clung to what it 
conceived were its sovereign interests. There was 
chaos and near anarchy and bitter wrangling. In 
the face of this seemingly impossible situation, 
the States' delegates reached a satisfactory com- 
promise by agreeing to yield portions of their 
sovereignty in return for the federal solution. 

Thus, we became a nation where travelers can 
cross state lines without passports or changing 
currencies; where cities' and states' jurisdictions 
have meshed compatibly, for the most part, with 
federal jurisdictions; where conflicts are settled 
by a court system that moves in an orderly way 
from local to district to federal authority. And, 
best of all, we do not have Minnesota and Iowa 
at war with each other. What the delegates to the 
Constitutional Convention achieved in Philadel- 
phia has been called by historians a miracle. 

To stretch our imaginations, we should think of 
the American experience as a Great Rehearsal for 
World Government. It was a magnificent ex- 
ample of restraint and compromise by which the 
colonies became the United States of America. 

If, write Ferencz and Keyes, thirteen disparate 
nation-states could choose safety, common 
security, prosperity and union over tariffs, petty 
conflicts and wars in the 18th century, the same 
can be done in our time on a planetary basis. 

This book will fill you with hope. Each of us can 
participate in a federal solution for Planet Earth. 
Become a Patriot for Peace. 



HEH 



READERS: Our editorial staff considers 
this book so important that we have an 
irresistible offer for you. We will send you 
a free copy of Planethood (paperback, 187 
pages) for a new subscription to this maga- 
zine or a gift subscription. What better way 
to wish your loved ones "Peace on Earth" 
at the time of the Winter Solstice? See 
coupon, inside back cover. 



37 



ABOUT OUR STAFF . . . 
AND FRIENDS 






CYNTHIA OGOREK COMES ON BOARD 

Freelance writer Cynthia Ogorek has joined the 
staff of TCW. Cynthia brings a wide range of 
skills and experience. Her degree is in philoso- 
phy with minors in economics and language arts 
and further study in video scriptwriting, com- 
puter science, photography, Mexican art history, 
and environmental and interior design. She is 
published in magazines and newspapers and has 
appeared as workshop panelist and consultant. 
She is the President of the Calumet City Histori- 
cal Society and co-founder and registrar of the 
Calumet City Historical Society Museum. One of 
her enthusiasms is the preservation of a land- 
mark structure, one of three remaining pioneer 
cabins in Cook County. 

She has traveled extensively in the United States, 
Europe and Mexico. Since coming on board she 
has put our Zenith computer into functional 
service, generating financial records, spread- 
sheets and bar graphs in amazing profusion as 
well as activating its word processing capabili- 
ties. Cynthia came to us from The Creative 
Woman Foundation where she is on the Finance 
Committee and the Board of Directors. What a 
treat it is to have her here! We are lucky. Read- 
ers can look forward to Ogorek writing in these 
pages in future issues. Welcome, Cynthia 
Ogorek! 



V 




Cynthia Ogorek 




GLORIA MORNINGSTAR IS HONORED 

Our friend, Representative Loleta A. Didrickson, 
again sponsored a highly successful Annual 
Women Together Luncheon (co-sponsored by 
this University and the Star Publications) an 
event that each year honors "Five of the Finest," 
outstanding women nominated by their organi- 
zations. We proudly salute the President of The 
Creative Woman Foundation, Gloria Morning- 
star, chosen this year for this distinguished 
honor. Gloria is President of Women in Manage- 
ment and Active in the Chamber of Commerce, 
Small Business Council, Executive Exchange and 
the American Indian Center. Our readers will 
recognize her as the Co-Guest Editor of our 
Women in Management issue (Winter 1989) in 
which she was profiled by Claudia Snow as well 
as posing for the striking cover photograph by 
Eileen Ryan. 



Gloria Morningstar 



38 



BETYE SAAR IS A GRANDMOTHER 

Betye Saar, artist, guest editor, member of our 
Editorial Board since 1977, sent us this charming 
birth announcement which we share with our 
readers. Kyle arrived on Bastille Day to become 
Betye's first grandchild. With her three daugh- 
ters, all creative women in letters and arts, Betye 
Saar is a model both as an original and gifted 
artist and as a mother who has nourished her 
daughters' gifts. Congratulations to Betye, 
Alison, Thomas Leeser and Kyle! 



THOMAS LEESER AND ALISON SAAR 
ANNOUNCE THE ARRIVAL OF 

KYLE McBAIN LEESER 

BORN ON BASTILLE DAY 

JULY 14 1989, 6:05 P.M. 

6 LBS. 9 0Z. 




TORY 

DIRECT 

k 




FOUR CREATIVE WOMEN 

Betye, Lezley, Alison and Tracye Saar 



3Q 




Marylu Raushenbush 



MARYLU RAUSHENBUSH, 
PHOTOGRAPHER OF WOMEN 

Another of those "it's a small world" phone calls: 
Marylu Raushenbush called from Madison, 
Wisconsin to invite me for the weekend. Her 
house guest was Nina Andreyeva, whom I had 
interviewed when I was in the USSR last Spring, 
and who is now touring the USA. Of course I 
immediately agreed to come, eager to renew an 
acquaintance with Nina and to continue our 
conversation about changes in the USSR and the 
meanings of perestroika for Soviet women. 

"Incidentally," said Marylu, "I love your maga- 
zine." 

"Oh? Where did you see it?" 

"In Leningrad," quoth she, "In Nina's flat, where 
I was photographing her for my series of Ameri- 
can and Soviet Women of Consequence." 

"Oh?" again. "How about letting us have a look 
at your photographs for our special issue on 
Soviet Women, scheduled for Winter 1990?" 



Yes, indeed. So there was an additional motiva- 
tion for my drive to Wisconsin. Wait. It's not 
over yet. 

Perusing our current issue on Photography, 
Walter Raushenbush discovers a portrait of his 
wife (see page 29, Spring/Summer 1989) by 
Susan Landgraf. Marylu was not aware that she 
appeared in TCW, and, identified only by her 
first name, I had no way of knowing that the 
Landgraf portrait was of photographer Marylu 
Raushenbush. 

Such spin-offs, connections, coincidences and 
surprises continue to mark the career of this little 
magazine. There are many networks of women, 
growing thicker, spanning the globe, getting in 
touch and keeping in touch; and in our own 
way, we seem to be a part of that. 

Watch these pages for more about this eminent 
photographer and her work in the next issue. 



40 




SHARON TENNISON SURVIVES THE 
EARTHQUAKE 

A thick packet of interviews, photographs and 
poems arrived from Sharon Tennison, Center for 
U.S.-U.S.S.R. Initiatives in San Francisco, our 
Guest Editor for the next issue (Winter 1990). It 
takes more than an earthquake to slow her 
down. Sharon has recently returned from her 
30th visit to the Soviet Union. She writes: 

"I was at my computer doing Zena's story when 
the building started creaking. We occasionally 
get a rumble so I continued a few more seconds 
and then started watching the walls lurch, ceiling 
lights crash against each other and I headed for 
the nearest structural beam. Of course you know 
that the next twelve hours were a nightmare here 
in SF. I think that you in other parts of the 
nation knew earlier than we did because the TV 
crews here for the series had battery-sustained 
equipment ready for action. Since we had no 
electricity, no TV, no telephone lines, we sat in a 
totally dark city with nothing but candles and 
the few reports that were coming in by battery- 
run radios. We all had such a naive sense of 
what was happening. Radio announcers contin- 
ued to give updates best they could saying that 
only six casualties had been reported. 

In the process I lost Zena's story which needed 
only final touches. I was sick because I was so 
proud of how it had come out. Editing a two or 
three hour interview is not an easy job I am 
finding." 

Stay tuned for a look at glasnost and perestroika 
in the rapidly changing Soviet world. Winter, 
1990. 



ECCO BELLA ANNOUNCES 

A CATALOG OF 

CRUELTY-FREE AND 

ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTS 

FOR CONSUMERS WITH 

A CONSCIENCE 




For information or catalog 

Contact Sally Malanga 

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"Sisterhood" continued from page 14. 

A week later, Renee's wallet is returned through 
the mail with $.95 postage due. All that is miss- 
ing is the cash, coins, and credit cards. Safely 
concealed in the back of the wallet is a tattered 
black-and-white family photo. 



41 



SIXTH 
ANNUAL 



International 
Women's Day 

Video Festival 



CALL 
FOR 
TAPES 

• This year's Festival will 
showcase lopes produced 
by women exploring the theme: 
"Women's Agenda for the New Century: 
Where Do We Go From Here?" 

• These tapes will be excerpted for inclusion in a live 
cablecast in March 1990 and shown in their entirety on 
access channels in the greater Boston area. The Festival 
may be carried nationwide by the Deep Dish National 
Public Access Satellite Network. 

• Send us topes you have already produced that address 
this year's theme. 




• In addition, we ore encouraging women to conduct sets 
of one-minute interviews that will serve as a common 
thread throughout the Festival. Choose a location where 
women gather. (Use your imagination.) Interview 5 to 
10 women, one at a time. Each answer should be no 
more than one minute long. Ask each woman to introduce 
herself and answer the question: 
"As a woman, what is the most important 
issue for you as we enter the 1 990s?" 

• Submissions of tapes and interviews in Ian 
than English is encouraged. If possible, incl^j 
English translation of the interviews and, 
them. 

• We will accept 8mm, VHS, S, 
in NTSC (North American) sta 
PALondSECAM. 

• Please include a self 
you are in the U.S. Do 

• Deadline: January 1 

• For more informatv 
Abigail Norman ot 61 



42 



To request entry form, write: 

International Women's Day Video Festival, P.O. Box 176, Boston, MA 02130 USA 



ANNO UNCEMENTS 




4 

ORDER 
FROM 

i> LUNA PRESS \ 

Cf PO BOX 51 l.Kenmore Station * ) 
3 Boston, MA 02215 USA f) 

** c 



Indiana University Press 

HYPATIA 

A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 

Hypatia is dedicated to the publication of scholarly 
research in feminist philosophy and provides a forum not 
available in other women's studies or mainstream journals. 

"The scholarly papers in Hypatia will un- 
doubtedly be core references in debates on 
feminism, and will have application in many 
social science disciplines as well." Choice 

Annual subscriptions (3 issues) are available to individuals at $20 and 
to institutions at $40. Further information, including bulk order 
discounts, is available from: 

Journals Division 

Indiana University Press 

10th & Morton Streets 

Bloomington, Indiana 47405 



43 



EDITOR'S COLUMN 




WE ALL LIVE DOWNSTREAM 

We came into the country by the inland water- 
way to Skagway, then by motor coach through 
the Yukon Territory, picked up a rental car in 
Anchorage, and drove out the Kenai Peninsula to 
Homer, Alaska. It was mid-June, less than two 
months after the Exxon Valdez disaster, and we 
wanted to observe the land, the people, the ef- 
fects. Alaska is big country, and it was only 
when we put into port at small harbors like 
Wrangell and Katchimak that we met people 
who seemed to feel personally affected by the 
spill. A fisherman out of Homer, on Cook Inlet, 
brought back a sample of the spill to show us — 
a mason jar filled with something the color and 
consistency of chocolate fudge, but sticky and 
foul-smelling. We sensed the shock and incredu- 
lity of Alaskans, many of whom had migrated to 
Alaska, the "Great Land," as the last best place of 
unspoiled earth. We met people who were re- 
examining their Faustian bargain with the oil 
industry: oil has run the State for decades, bring- 
ing vast sums of money, the State being so 
enriched by Alyeska royalties that citizens not 
only pay no State income tax, but receive hefty 
bonuses at year's end — last year about $800 for 
every man, woman and child in Alaska. But now 
they were wondering if they had sold their souls, 
as they mournfully walked their blackened 
beaches and picked up the dead birds and sea 
otters. People told us that the oil company's 
efforts to clean the beaches were futile, mainly 
for public relations effects, and that some of their 
interventions did more harm than good (such as 
using steam cleaning which killed the microor- 
ganisms that make up the lower links in the food 
chain). 

Alaskans came to the sad conclusion that their 
shoreline, islands, and off-shore waters could not 
be cleaned, that it was impossible, and agreed 
with Barry Commoner who argues that we must 
learn not to put pollutants into the environment 
because once there, it's too late. 

44 



The oil spill in Prince William Sound then, 
following the blistering summer of 1988, the 
trashed beaches of both Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts, the ominous warnings of a global warm- 
ing trend and dangerous holes in the Antarctic 
ozone layer... all these events served to alert us. 
So, following on the Barry Commoner axiom 
(control at the source), what is to be done? It 
follows that we should leave fossil fuels in the 
ground (leave something for the next genera- 
tions) and develop alternative, renewable non- 
polluting sources of energy. It follows that we 
should stop producing plutonium, an element 
that does not exist in nature, that has no use 
except for nuclear weapons, and which is so toxic 
that infinitesimal amounts are fatal. This earth 
does not need plutonium. Human civilization 
does not need plutonium, and indeed, is threat- 
ened by it. We should dispense with unnecessary 
plastic packaging, create biodegradables as 
substitutes, and recycle everything that can be 
recycled. We should return to a Yankee frugality 
("use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do with- 
out") and insist on fuel-efficient cars and appli- 
ances. We should car-pool and take the train and 
the bus. (But do we, I guiltily ask myself.) 

It's a big order. The task may seem so daunting 
as to drive us back to our old lethargic accep- 
tance of waste and submission to the degradation 
of air, water, food and other "quality of life" 
indices. 

To convince ourselves that there are tangible, 
practical efforts that we can immediately put into 
effect, to remind ourselves that each one of us 
can make a difference, we have assembled here a 
few instances of response to the current environ- 
mental crisis. 




At Brookfield Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts, 
87 members of a CSA (Community Supported 
Agriculture) system share the farm's operating 
costs in exchange for a share of its yearly harvest. 
The system is elegantly simple and has a power- 
ful appeal to consumers looking for fresh, pesti- 
cide-free produce and dairy foods. Nicolette 
Rabb, farmer, says, "Brookfield Farm is not 
merely a place for raising food. It's a place 
people can feel connected to." It puts people 
back in touch with the land. (New Age Journal, 
Sept. /Oct. 1989, page 40-43.) 




"A place people can feel connected to": The welcoming 
sign. 

Luan Railsback's store, Alternatives, in Peoria 
sold out Friends Around the World, a coopera- 
tive game where everyone wins or everyone 
loses. In the game, a blob sets out to destroy the 
world and players compete, not against each 
other, but against the blob. Railsback's shop, "A 
socially responsible emporium," carries biode- 
gradable, natural, recycled and /or recycling 
products: non-toxic, phosphate-free household 
cleaners, herbal insect repellants, solar powered 
batteries, energy-saving faucet devices and non- 
racist, non-violent, non-sexist toys, games, tapes 
and puzzles. Co-Op America, 2100 M St., N.W., 
Suite 310, Washington, DC 20063. (202) 872-5307 
or (800) 424-COOP, a clearing house for manu- 
facturers of socially responsible products, is her 
main supplier. (Journal Star, Peoria, 10-16-89) 
Multiplied ma"" Hmo* «%»»«* ;~ towns and cities 
across the nati yes grounds for 

optimism. 



Readers who i 
catalog from £ 
Health]/ Planet 
Vermont 0540 . __~ 
as hundreds of products 
ence. Our staff member, 
Oliver, ordered a variety 
biodegradable food bags 



ved can request a 
i, Products for a 
:, South Burlington, 
, v± Ai . formation as well 
that can make a differ- 
Art Director Suzanne 
of paper products and 
and garbage bags, and 



reports that they are all satisfactory (although the 
facial tissue isn't the softest) and best of all she 
likes the good feeling she gets from the sense 
that she is doing her part for Gaia, dear Mother 
Earth. 




10 Farrell Street 

South Burlington 

VT 05403 



The new "Practical Journal for the Environment," 
Garbage, with its first two issues in circulation, is 
a compendium of fascinating articles and infor- 
mation. A sample of topics: "Kitchen Design for 
Recycling," "Natural Pest Controls," "Global 
Wanning Basics," "Home Energy," "Organic 
Foods," and "Garbage to Compost." We espe- 
cially seized upon "Printing Garbage on Recycled 
Paper," describing the process that editor-pub- 
lisher Patricia Poore went through before making 
the decision to publish her new periodical on 
Cross Pointe Troy Book 60# Blue-White Satin- 
Thin. (Yes, that's the name of the paper, for you 
readers who aren't in printing.) 




GARBAGE 

435 Ninth Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11215-9937 

Poore was stung by the charges of friends and 
readers that not to print on recycled paper was 
hypocritical for a magazine devoted to saving the 
environment. The publisher in her said "no way" 
and the editor said "go for it." "Not only was it 
the right thing to do, but also I was cocky 



4^ 



enough to think we could make recycled paper 
look good." (Garbage, Sept. /Oct. 1989, page 50- 
51) Her article threw down the gauntlet to us at 
TCW and I called Bob Woodard, our printer, to 
discuss. Surprisingly, he agreed that recycled 
paper need not cost more and could give the 
look and finish that we want for our magazine. 
Thus, this is the first issue of The Creative Woman 
to be printed on recycled paper. (Do you hear the 
quiet joy?) 

A series of three articles in the New Yorker (June 
12, 19, and 26) dealt with the hazards of electro- 
magnetic pollution, describing research on (1) the 
effects of the step-down transformers that carry 
electricity from the high-power lines and towers 
into the neighborhoods to household current; (2) 
household appliances such as electric blankets; 
and (3) the omnipresent VDT's, millions of them 
on desks of secretaries, writers, editors, stockbro- 
kers, airline clerks, bank tellers and cashiers. Are 
these threats and dangers real? One way to judge 
is by the reaction. How do electric companies 
react? I found two examples of the speed with 
which industry and the entrepreneurial impulse 
respond to such news - neither of them particu- 
larly enlightening. National Rural Electric Coop- 
erative Association runs a full page ad (Atlantic, 
November 1989, p. 56) linking the sinister step- 
down transformer with the icons of American 
pride — the Golden Gate Bridge, the Washington 
Monument and the Statue of Liberty. (Is there no 
shame?) And Live Wave Electronics of Asheville, 
North Carolina advertises "the Live Wave Solu- 
tion" to electromagnetic pollution; for $62 you 
can buy a Micro=Equalizer, purporting to "re- 
balance the electromagnetic environment for 
your well being." (Anyone recall Reich's Orgone 
Energy box?) 

A final word: Cynthia Ogorek returned from her 
vacation trip to Cape Cod with a nice little 
present for me, a pin with the words 



"Whatever you do may seem insignificant 

but it is most important that you do it." 

-QANDHI 



At the moment as I type this, it's getting late, but 
there's a full moon out there, and I'm wearing 
the pin. 

Pass it on. 

HEH 



46 




This issue of 
The Creative Woman 

was printed on 
100% recycled paper 



PRINTER'S NOTE: 

Only the cover of this issue 
is printed on recycled paper. 
We will try to use it entirely 
for the next publication. 



The follow 

Vol. 1, No. 4 
Vol. 2, No. 4 
Vol. 3, No. 2 
Vol. 3, No. 3 
Vol. 4, No. 1 
Vol. 4, No. 2 
Vol. 4, No. 4 
Vol. 5, No. 2 
Vol. 6, No. 2 
Vol. 6, No. 3 
Vol. 6, No. 4 
Vol. 7, No. 1 
Vol. 7, No. 2 
Vol. 7, No. 4 
Vol. 8, No. 1 
Vol. 8, No. 2 
Vol. 8, No. 3 
Vol. 8, No. 4 
Vol. 9, No. 1 
Vol. 9, No. 2 

Vol. 9, No. 3 
Vol. 9, No. 4 

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